Thursday, July 12, 2012

Harvest is Here!

Mark it on the calendar – July 9th, 2012 – as the earliest start to harvest at Travis’s family’s farm EVER!  The last record earliest start date was July 11th.  Thanks to the mild winter and spring, and the hot, dry weather this summer, winter wheat harvest has begun!

Dry, ripe winter wheat ready for harvest.

For those of you not in the farming community, winter wheat is a crop that is planted in the late summer/early fall and germinates, goes dormant over the winter, and then continues to grow again the following spring.  It is a useful crop as it allows farmers to space out the planting and harvesting of other crops, including wheat that is planted in the spring (i.e. spring wheat).  It is typically the first crop harvested in our area.

Perfect combining weather: dry, hot, sunny, and no wind!

Tuesday, the boys and I brought out “lunch” to Travis and my in-laws in the field.  They were just finishing up combining the first field when we arrived.  My in-laws were running the two Gleaner combines while Travis was bringing the semi-loads of grain to the elevator. 

Anyone who as witnessed an auger moving grain knows the notorious “shimmy” sound.  It is like music to a farmer’s ears, especially when coming from the combine during harvest.

We took shelter from the blazing sun under the grain trailer to eat.  It provided another view of the combines unloading the wheat.

Who gave Levi a chocolate bar in 90 degree weather?!

Those cheeks can hold more than any chipmunk I know!

Packing it up!

After we were done eating, it was time to move to the next field.  Charlie was super excited because he got to ride in the combine with Grandpa.  Let the caravan begin…

Path through the soybean field.

Down the road.

Over the bridge.

Up the hill.

Around the bend.

And into the next field!

Once some of the wheat was cut, Travis and Charlie were in charge of moving the truck.

Levi and I hung out in the air conditioning.

We love the amber waves of grain, but like it even better when they are cut down and cashed in!

We averaged 52 bushels per acre on the first field, and 55 bushels per acre on the second.  According to the farmers of this household is average-to-good for that land.  The “bushel per acre” thing is still kind of confusing to me.  I know that it a weighted unit that is harvested per acre of land (60 lbs. in a bushel for wheat), but, yeah, that is about it.


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