Whew! Can't believe we are on day eleven of harvest. We started across the road in corn, and we just opened up the field, taking out all the "early" corn. Now we are in our west fields, about 5 miles away, and we are closer to getting our half section done, but there is still more corn out there.
Early corn? I can hear you thinking what is that? When farmers plant the corn, they usually have 3-4 different types of corn, with the variable of maturity being one of the differences. If all of our corn was ready at the same time, and we have 900+ acres of it, we would not be able to harvest it all in a day or two. As the corn gets past it's maturity, it starts to lose its ability to stand up. One good wind/ weather front passing, and a lot of it could go down. Then we would be back to harvesting "horizontal corn" like we did a couple of years ago. NOT fun!
This year our corn yields are very good but the corn is "wet", which leads to a problem we haven't had in a while, we have to dry all the corn we are picking right now. Drying each semi load of corn slows down the process. The last few years the corn has come out at or around 17% moisture, which is fine to dump straight in to a storage bin, and maybe let a bit of air run through it to keep it cool as it settles.
Wet corn? Like in it rained on the corn and now it's wet? Nope. You know how juicy and yummy sweet corn is right? Well field corn needs all of that juice to dry up so it came stored and not go bad. Have you ever put a load of wet clothes in the drier and then forgot to dry them for a few days? Yeah, me neither, but let's just say we did it. After a few days the wet clothes will start to smell musty, and you either need to turn the drier on or rewash and try the whole process again. If we leave wet corn in the bin, it will become musty, start to mold, and that could mess up the whole bin of corn.
Here is one of our drier set ups. The corn is augered in to the back bin, in fed in to the drier, housed under the slanted roof, dried, and then augered out to another bin, the one of the left, for storage until it is sold. So it's corn to combine to grain cart to semi to holding bin to drier to storage bin. That's a lot of handling so you see that drying the corn slows the harvest pace a bit. If the corn was dry, we could go from semi straight to storage.
Well, now it's 11:30, and I have more laundry to catch up on, bills to pay, and cleaning around here to do so that we are somewhat go to go when the weather clears and we all head back out to the fields.