After going strong for about a month, we are starting to wrap up our harvest. We started with a couple of different varieties of field peas, then lentils, winter wheat, and finally spring wheat. All in all, a pretty good crop for our country. We had plentiful rains in early spring and late summer which brought up lots of plants and then caused a little lower protein in the wheat than we're used to. One particular field, which was the bane of my dear farmer husband's existence in late May due to the boggy planting conditions, is causing a little bit of headache for him now as it is taking it's sweet time to get ripe. We were really hoping to finish up the entire crop on Saturday, but the crew ran into green wheat on Saturday evening about 6 p.m. I don't think it hurt the crew's feelings, as Terri Clark was making an appearance at the Southeast Montana Fair in Miles city, and most of them were hoping to go. More about that in a different post.
I love to watch the combines eating up the acres, especially as they work in their group of four. It's amazing how much they accomplish in a day, as long as they stay in working condition. We had pretty good luck with that this year too, except on Friday and Saturday as one machine decided to give us some fits, losing power especially going up hills. Turns out it was a bad wiring harness that was giving bad signals to the rest of the machine. Technology!
I really enjoy running the combine. At the beginning of harvest when I'm in the "cockpit" for the 1st time, everything seems to be running at lightning speed and I feel really overwhelmed, especially when it's time to unload the grain tank moving at 5 mph, next to a grain cart that is also moving about 5 mph. Doesn't seem that fast until you're trying to make sure you don't leave any grain outside the header, don't hit the tractor with your unloading auger, or hit the tractor tire with the side of your header! Last year I got to run the combine enough that I felt pretty confident. This year, I got to run for almost a day, but we had such a great crew, that I was more useful in the kitchen! That may change in the next week.
I'm finding benefits from being a teacher that I am realizing now, 6 years after being out of the field. Three of the guys in the crew were students of mine when I taught junior high English, and another is a friend from college, who moved here to teach the same year I did. It's fun to see them all again, and especially fun to see what great guys my students have grown into. They were good workers, great with the kids, fun to be around, and mainly full of it. We've had worse crews for sure! Now most of them are getting ready to head back to college for fall semester. With any luck, we'll be able to finish up the last little bit, as the weather has decided to heat up, at least into the upper 80s and low 90s, which feels like a real heat wave compared to what we've seen for most of the summer. Then all we have left is the dry land corn that we are trying for the 2nd year. It really is making the most of these late summer rains.
Enjoy the pictures!
Alli in the truck with Daddy