Wednesday, October 23, 2013

From a Kernel to a Chip: Harvest Time!

White corn harvest has arrived!! First, I apologize for not posting my "From a Kernel to a Chip: September Update" blog post. Right when it was about time for me to post my September update, we got super busy with soybean and popcorn harvest as well as drilling wheat. So I figured I would tie it in with my Harvest blog!

In my last blog (August Update) I mentioned that we were starting to wrap up irrigation. This year's irrigation season lasted a little longer than previous years and we didn't stop watering the white corn until the end of August. Most years we usually start wrapping up irrigation on corn around the middle of August. Once we shut down the wells, we began picking up pipe on pivot corners and other gravity farms. We also prepared equipment and bin sites for harvest so once it started, we would be ready to go!

On September 25th we were able to get started on our soybeans as well as started drilling wheat. We do some custom drilling for neighbors, so that kept me busy while my dad and our help stayed busy harvesting the soybeans. Once the soybeans were done we moved on to the popcorn and corn. Then on October 18th we were finally harvesting our white corn! Usually we harvest white corn last as it usually matures slower than regular corn. We always try to harvest our white corn at 17% moisture or below. If it is higher than 17%, we usually wait to let it dry down. So far what we have harvested has been around that moisture or below, so it has allowed us to keep on harvesting. The white corn yields have been decent with a few fields not doing as well as we would have liked them to do. I think some of the cooler weather we encountered back in August could have impacted yields a bit, especially where we saw some tip back. We also had a couple fields that had some wind damage. Unfortunately the hybrid we planted also had a weak stalk, which caused it to lay over and made picking it not so fun. So hopefully the seed company can provide better white corn hybrids in the future that can stand winds a little bit better.

If all continues to go good the next few days, it looks like we should wrap up white corn harvest by the first part of next week. After harvest is completed, we will clean things up and then move into preparing for next year's crop. This usually involves fertilizing and some tillage work. We also will do some dirt work to fix low spots and ditches.

Overall it has been a very different growing year, but thankfully the Lord has looked out for us and allowed us to bring in a crop. I hope all of you who followed my "From a Kernel to a Chip" blog series enjoyed it as well as learned where your chips come from! If you have questions that might not have been answered in this blog, please feel free to leave a comment! Thanks again for following and even though the series has come to an end, I hope you will continue to follow my farm blogs in the future as well as blogs about Agriculture policy, leadership, and faith!

If you would like to see previous "From a Kernel to a Chip" blog posts, click here. 

Below are pictures of the white corn during harvest:

The combine picking through the field of white corn.
An ear of white corn that will soon be harvested.
When the combine picks the corn, it gets shelled off the cob and goes into the grain tank where it gets stored until it gets unloaded on to the grain cart or truck.
When the combine's grain tank is full, the corn gets unloaded into the grain cart which then hauls it to the trucks.
A handful of white corn kernels!
A nice ear of white corn I found out in the field. A farmer can hope that all the ears of corn can look like this.
Corn is being dumped into the pit from the truck, which will then get stored in a bin until we haul it to the elevator later on in the year.
One of the many nice sunsets that we get to see during fall harvest. Makes a person appreciate the sights we get to see in the country.

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