Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Corn Harvest School - Part 1

So a little over a week ago we finished up shellin' all our corn, and boy were we all glad it was over. Not because it was a bad year, to the contrary it was a great year. The corn did great and we broke all sorts of records. Not just on our farm, but neighboring farmers also did just as good.

We were glad that harvest was finally over with because we had been hoppin' (or goin' which ever you prefer) since day one and hadn't had much of a break. I mean we would take Sunday off as usual, but it still seemed that we would have things going then and wouldn't get much of a break.

So we finally got it finished, but not with out a few hiccups along the way. We had combine problems, tractor problems, grain cart problems, and more than one problem with the semi, but God was still takin' care of us and even though we had to slowed down every once in a while we never had to come to a complete stop and that is wonderful.

Now I know some of you come from corn pickin' areas but there are some of you that haven't ever been around it so hopefully you can feel what's it's like to be in the middle of corn harvest.

As you go across the field in the combine, you split the rows with the snouts and depending on how big your header is you can take any where from 4 to 12 rows at a time. On our farm we have a 6 row and an 8 row.

The header is designed strip the ears off the stalk and to leave most if not all of the stalk in the field.

The ears are then pushed to the middle of the header with the auger at the back of the header. It is then fed into what they call the "feeder house".

Once it is inside the combine the kernels of corn are striped off the cobs and...

...they are augered into the hopper that is just behind the cab.

The cobs the rest of the 'trash' are then send flying out of the back end of the combine. You should stand clear of the combine, cause more than once I have been hit a flying corn cob.

The combines would have to make the long haul across the field to unload, since our grain cart was down for most of the harvest.

Since it was a lot drier during corn harvest we were able to drive the trucks out on the already harvested corn stubble, so the combines wouldn't have to drive as far to dump.

Occasionally you would get both combines dumping on you at the same time. Usually this would happen when they had wait on a truck to make it back to the field.

While waiting for the truck to fill you can sit back enjoy and read a good book, take a nap (this rarely happened) or just watch the harvest take place.

Caleb loves watching the combines go. Usually he would crawl in the cab of one of them and ride along. I usually didn't get to wait for for very long, so I would take some pictures and do some readin'.

Once they had you full then it was time to roll the tarp over the truck...

....and speed of to unload.  Some times to the grain elevator or the grain bin.

Since this is already a long enough post I will cover the grain haulin', unloadin' and the use of the grain cart in my next post.

As for me, I am feeling loads better than I was last week, so I am gonna get back to getting things straightened up cause we are FINALLY getting the trim in the house installed tomorrow....it'll take more than a day, but he's startin' first thing in the morning!

Later All,



  1. Congrats on the bumper crop and the trim work! A combine is one thing that I have never ridden in, and also do not know too much about. Our farm hasn't done enough grain to own one since I've been around, so our neighbors have always combined our corn/soybeans. I have done a lot of watching though, lol. Although, next year that will change! One of our neighbors is quitting farming, and Lance is basically buying him out. He's getting most of his land (almost 400 acres) and most of his equipment, which includes a combine! So next year, I might have some pictures like yours, except with a green combine, lol.

  2. Great photos as usual Janet! Speaking of photos, I saw your camera at the weddin! I want to see your pictures ;)

  3. I'm really glad that your harvest was a bumper crop! Hope that'll be our outcome too. I'm happy to see that I'm not the only who cuts her sleeves of her shirts. lol

    Very informative post. Great job!

  4. My brain cannot wrap around the thought that at one time all that work was done by hand! Can you imagine!??!!
    Awesome job, guys- we think of you every time we eat grain!

  5. Found you through Gizzards and Calf Fries. Congratulations on your prize.

    Glad the corn crop was good, that helps the pocket book.

    Do you reharvest the shocks and cobs for feed use?

  6. Thanks for the tutorial , I came over from "the Wife's" blog. We have harvested wheat, balrey and canola , but never corn where we are at so it is intersting to see how things are done in your neck of the woods

  7. You have a new follower. I absolutely love your photos and blog. To be so close to how the farm machinery works is really great. I have learned a lot...things I wanted to learn. Keep up the good work.

  8. That is SO COOL! I've never seen anything like it. I need to let my little boy look through your pictures, he's currently obsessed with tractors!