Long summer days have ripened the fields and it is almost time to harvest.
Someone has been checking crops to determine maturity. Every year is a little different due to weather. This year, more rain means we are expecting a higher yield crop. More rain also means the crops are more susceptible to diseases (fungus, blight) and pests (beetles, aphids, and other bugs).
We had green weeds in our ripe pea crop. This means we had to either dessicate (dry down the plants while standing) or swath. Hence, we are swathing the peas this year when we normally straight cut into the combine. Swathing was done at night, when the dew kept them moist to prevent the peas from shelling out.
In preparation for harvest the swather and combine need to be serviced. This means taking them from the shed where they have been stored for the winter, out of the weather, and cleaning thoroughly (we don’t want mice!), grease, changing oil, checking hydraulics, belts and wiring. Installing the auto-guidance system and reviewing crop settings (different settings for different crops).
Trucks for hauling grain are also serviced. Because of the rain, a grain cart has been purchased which mitigates ruts in the field. We plan to use 2 combines, 1 semi, 1 grain cart and 1-2 tandem grain trucks this year. All the grain gets hauled to the yard for storage. This can be anywhere from 3-20 miles from the field. We have purchased two additional bins for storage. On rainy days in July, staff have been busy cleaning bins so they are ready for new grain to go into them once harvests starts.