Sunday, November 3, 2013

Harvest Is Done!

Finally...harvest is done!
 
First though, I apologize for the lack of updates about my farm.  I was in the habit of updating every Sunday morning and then suddenly farming happened and I was working every weekend.  I guess I'm still trying to work on my routine here.

Well, the main news is that harvest is finally over.  It was great!  There's no better time on a farm than during harvest...the sights, the smell, the long days...I love it.  Harvest lasted about two months, mid-August to mid-October.  Actually, it took a total of four days to harvest my crops, but I spent the remainder of the time helping two neighbors with their crops and they have a lot more acres to cover than I do.
 

My first lentil harvest
The lentil crop was fantastic!  We harvested them in early September and I got about two years' worth of production in just one year, even though they were red lentils (green lentils usually have a higher yield than reds).  Two neighbors and I cut the crop with three modern CaseIH combines.  My 200 acres took an entire day because the lentils were very thick.  Instead of clipping along at 4-5 mph, we were running about 2 mph and in many cases less than 1 mph.  The lentils themselves were very good quality.  They were uniform in size, had no discoloration, and they were very clean.  It's great to have high yield and high quality in the same year!
 
Neighbor harvesting my spring wheat
And the wheat crop was also extremely good.  A different neighbor harvested my wheat with his three modern John Deere combines.  They spent about three days getting my 950 acres cut.  Yields were very high, but quality took a bit of a hit.  The wheat is bleached out a bit due to rains and the protein is lower than usual because the entire summer was so wet and cool.  However, I'm very happy with the results...it was a fantastic beginning to my farming career.
 
Wheat standing and ready to cut
Meanwhile, I continued harvesting with the first neighbor.  I'm not sure on the exact numbers, but I would guess we harvested about 3,000 acres of lentils and about 10,000 acres of wheat.  We had it all during harvest...great yields, broken equipment, stuck combines (me!), great suppers in the field, busy truckers...and I loved every minute of it.
 

I have a lot more updates from the last couple of months.  A hail storm damaged some of my wheat, I spent a few days in Washington D.C. during harvest, we had a combine catch on fire, and I've gotten about half of my crop marketed.  But I'll discuss those areas in future updates.
 
In the meantime...harvest is done!


Trucks getting loaded with grain


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