Monday, August 22, 2016

Harvest Continues

I finally caught up with a farmer combining a field of mixed grain the other day.  Wheat harvest appears to be over, and mixed grain is underway.  Soybeans and corn will wait into the fall.

I actually heard this combine before I saw it, the dull roar from two farms over when I was out walking the dog.  I hopped on my bike when I got home and rode up the road and there it was.  This is a moderate sized combine, probably owned by the farmer himself, the type that has a built in grain hopper.

He got to the end of the row, parked beside the grain wagon, and the auger swung out to transfer the grain.  Fairly small wagon too, not like some of the huge combines that are followed around the field by a second tractor pulling a big wagon, and a transport truck waiting at the end, with the large custom operations!

The auger transfers the grain quickly, and he headed back down the field.  You can see a bit of the head of the combine on the right.

 Inadvertent shadow self-portrait.

On a different field, where the wheat was harvested a week or two ago, I saw this enormous outfit.  I stopped to get a picture, and guess who pulled up beside me - the farmer!  We had an interesting chat about the equipment and their operation - obviously a big one!

At first glance this looks like the epitome of industrial agriculture.  I'm torn two ways when I see equipment this size.  One of the nicest things about living here is the availability of local food direct from farmers, but increasingly farmland is selling for a good price as world crop prices rise.  We do need to feed people.

Once I looked closely, I realized the investment these farmers had put into their operation.  The wide tracks on this tractor minimizes any rutting in the field, though you hardly ever see this style of tractor here.

And the huge wide tires on the manure tanks do likewise.  The liquid manure system didn't smell, and with enough storage is a way to ensure that the manure gets applied when it should, just before a crop is planted which will use up the nitrogen, which is the case here.  Personally I think liquid manure is a better choice than a heavy dose of artificial fertilizers.

A day or two later the farmers were back with a different outfit, this time a huge chisel plough, getting the field ready for planting - probably winter wheat or a cover crop.

Behind the chisel plough (designed to minimize erosion), came the rollers.  What a change from the days when it might take a few weeks with a horse-drawn plough to prepare the fields on this farm.  With this outfit it probably only took 2 or 3 hours.

Whatever you think of modern industrial agriculture, I come down on the side of respecting the farmer himself (usually it's a him doing the field work) for the work he does.  I enjoyed meeting the farmer in this case, and will now watch these fields with a bit more interest, and perhaps try to have some conversations with other farmers in the area.

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  1. Love the photo with the shadow and the fact you had the chance to speak with the farmer. Great post.

  2. Wow---farm equipment has changed and improved through the years, hasn't it? What months do you all call FALL? I'm sure you start getting cold weather in October, don't you?

    As I've said, We have had a very hot and humid and dry summer.... BUT---our hot weather broke on Sunday ---and today has been marvelous for us (lows in '50's and highs in low '80s). GORGEOUS ---but short-lived since they say the heat is returning....


  3. It's that time of year - all the crops are ready to be harvested!

  4. Specialised equipment, very expensive, but made to do the job so well,and built to last."CASE" I often see that brand down here.But the pic of the day for me, is, " You and your shadow" Superb!!!

  5. You did well to catch up with the farming operation at all. At one time operations in each field took several days but now they're in and out before you get a chance to see them. Around here most of this work is done by contractors, unusual to see a small operation like in your first photos.

  6. My wife grew up on a dairy farm just down the road from here our nephew now runs it and her brother still owns it and helps out, we camped there our first 6 years fulltime when in the area. The new equipment, seems to get larger every year.

  7. My favorite is the one with the photographer in it, but I learned something when I read this post. I'm glad you got to talk with the farmer, which gave me a different feeling about the operation. Nice to have started my day with some new facts! :-)

  8. WoW!!! i've never seen this before....a beautiful golden field. nice to see more modern equipment doing the labor!!!

  9. Interesting photos. I especially love the one with the shadow. Don't apologize - that's real. I have more problems with shadows in most of my pics. I like to take photos in the early morning and the Florida sun is blazing thus shadows.

  10. The photographers shadow. My father used to grumble about that shadow in our family photos, but I love them. I can see my mom or dad with almost as much clarity as the other parent who is actually in the photo.

  11. Very interesting post. We live in farm country here and I love to watch and photograph the work being done. It is amazing the size of some of the equipment used. We see a fair amount of track tractors out here. How neat to meet the farmer you were photographing.

    Sorry I called you fuzzy instead of furry.

  12. A farmers life is a busy one!
    Great selection of photo's.

    All the best Jan

  13. There's so much work for them to do this time of year.

  14. I am always fascinated by farm equipment and machines.
    Enjoyed all your photos.

  15. Lovely photos , Never had the huge machines like they do now a days when I was on the farm , These machines are monsters now a days and are hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy and run to , we have a few farm fields that got worked already at the top of our valley and the machines they use are huge and loud and all over the area they are on the roads going from one field to another this time of year as we live in a large farming community and area as well as have an Amish farming community that still do it all by horse . It has been nice and cool here a welcomed break from heat and humidity . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !