Start of the Harvest

We started the corn harvest yesterday with the field south of my garden. On July 1st the field looked like this.



And this is what it looked like yesterday morning.


It looks nice and tall, but if you walk into the corn, there are several places the corn has lodged. It was weakened due to the July storm.


As usual, we have custom hired the combining. First the combine opens the field. It combines the corn off the ends of the field so there is room to park the gravity wagons.


As the corn goes into the head, the ears are pulled off and the corn is shelled. The shelled corn goes into a hopper on top of the combine. On the back of the combine is a chopper which chops up the stalks and corn cobs, then spits them out into the field.


When the hopper is full, the combine pulls up to the wagons, moves the auger over a wagon and unloads the shelled corn into the wagon.




When 2 of the wagons are full, the Farmer pulls them to the feed mill.



When he gets there, he pulls onto the scales. They weigh the tractor and wagons of corn. They also take a sample of corn from each load to check for the moisture and test weight.


He then pulls the wagons into the shed to unload. On the side of each wagon is a wheel which opens the chute on the side of the wagon. The farther you open the chute, the faster the corn runs out. You unload 1 wagon at a time. The corn is unloaded into a pit.



After the wagons are unloaded, he pulls back on the scales and they check the weight again. This is how they know how much corn he has unloaded. He goes back to the field and hooks up to more filled wagons. There are 2 other men pulling wagons to the mill also. They just keeping going.


After the corn has been unloaded into the pit, it goes through the dryer.  Heated air is blown over the corn and removes the excess moisture. The corn is dried to lower moisture content. If you don’t lower the moisture content, it won’t keep over the winter.


After it is dried, it is blown through the long pipe at the bottom of the picture and into a grain bin for storage. We store all of our corn at the mill.  The corn will be used in our cow, heifer and calf feeds. They subtract the amount used in the feed against the amount we have stored there.



They started combining around 9:30 in the morning and by 5 pm, they had this field finished. I hope the rest of the corn harvest goes as smoothly as this field did.


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