Well, who am I kidding, work never ends on the farm.
Many in the area are wrapping up harvest this week. As of 4:42 EST Wednesday, our harvest was complete. It was a long road to the end. I thought we had a good shot at finishing before the first of November, but mother nature had other plans.
Yields fell off at the end. These were fields that were planted last and also in geography that received less July rains. Take your pick for the cause. Maybe I’ll be able to make more sense of it after I finish compiling farm and hybrid yield data.
We finished spreading the manure (that we hauled into storage this summer) just a couple hours after the combine was turned off. By the skin of our teeth a couple weeks ago, we met the 90-day timetable to spread manure which we had staged (stored on the ground in the field) in August. Product stored in physical buildings has a more flexible 6-month timetable.
For the most part, tillage is caught up with what is fit to work. We shifted some tillage from chisel/ripping to shallow vertical tillage. If we get a chance, we may revisit a few fields and make the deep tillage pass. With limited residue breakdown this far north, it was more important to get something done to more acres than it was to fully till fewer acres.
Combine tracks helped
Had it not been for the tracks on the combine, we would still not be done. In addition, we would have been making more work for ourselves. I spent a day doing my best to level ruts left in a field picked before we installed the tracks. This is never fun, and even less so when water remains in the ruts and rain is forecast for the next day.
We wouldn’t be where we are without the part-time work force that has been assembled over the years. In additional to the seasonal grain cart driver and tillage driver, this year we were able to add a truck driver. All three of these men are retired and work as needed. We also have a younger man who runs the manure spreader after his day shift is over. This has worked well the last couple years. With heavy equipment background, he is comfortable running the wheel loader and spreader tractor. All these team members compliment the three of us who work full time.
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.