The wheat is off, the crops are sprayed, the pressing field work is behind me. There is always more to do, but its no longer time critical. Sure i can pull some weeds in the field, but it doesn't need to be done today. The wheat stubble needs to be plowed, but no rush, I would prefer a good rain to sprout the lost wheat before I start anyhow. Sure the free range chickens and turkeys need constant attention, but that has become no different than doing the laundry, its just part of life. It feels good to have a bit of freedom from racing against the clock to get done what must be done.
Wheat harvest went well. New combine to learn, a welcome rain to slow things up, but only a few acres to harvest due to the wet fall and once I got going, the field was off in a day. It wasn't the best yield by far, in fact almost half of what its capable of. But most of the loss was from dead spots. I had tried some new seed but it just didn't yield, will be growing Beacher again next year. Its a tough wheat to shell, but where it was standing good, my bin was well filled.
It was nice to combine in a machine with air conditioning, never had that before. I was living the good life. And my speed was knife limited, a 20ft head just can't work an R52, but its a good size for me. Actually, compared to the old MF 540, this combine is a monster. 10 acres an hour was quite easy, and I am used to 20 acres a day.
Now I did have some good help to move that grain. My wife put it all in the bin for me, and she didn't have the benefit of A/C. And until the cold front came through, it was HOT.
Yes, harvest is a family event, even my Dad came out to help, though he didn't do too much, his advice was much appreciated. Years of experience are very helpful in setting up a combine, in judging the quality of the job.
Since getting the wheat off, I have been busy moving out the last of my corn. The bin paid for itself this year. With the prices on the up swing, I was able to market that grain for a good profit. Well, enough profit to cover the lease payment of the bin.
Next week my wheat will be trucked out. Can't believe that the best price could be at harvest, but its high enough that I sold it all. And since i have both roundup beans and IP, the extra bin takes off all pressure for how I keep the grains separate. Gives me added marketing time for the next crop.
Its still dry in the fields and I hope to get some rain soon, its been about 10 days since the last drink and soon it will be back into drought conditions. But my crops are not hurt. When I see photos of the those in the US corn belt its depressing. Those withered fields were someones hard work, care and hope and they are in ruins. A recent Globe and Mail article was insinuating that Canadian farmers were finding the silver lining from the drought. The media just doesn't understand that some crops are already contracted, others at risk and the farmers not willing to pre-sell an uncertain harvest. Higher prices make a farmer happy, but lost fields, even when they are not yours are never welcomed. Its a good thing for crop insurance, it allows a farmer to try again, where otherwise a failed crop could be the end to a farmer.
If that next rain shows up in time, my corn is set to benefit.
There is no shortage of 2 cob stocks and I came across a greedy stock trying for 3! Nothing is certain, but this crop still has potential.
The only controllable foe I have at the moment are the weeds in the fields. Not that I have enough to effect yield, but I hate to see them go to seed. So for the next few months my time will be spent on pulling weeds. Yes, I take the time to physically pull out weeds in the field. There are always a few that the herbicides miss, but if I find them its game over. I also find a walk though the crops, with a beer of course, very relaxing. Its nice to love your work, its even more enjoyable to think that you have a small part in feeding the world. Farming may not be an easy life, but i would call it a good life.