Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Harvest Time

The 2008 corn harvest is nearing completion now. From here, on Oak Hill in southeastern Minnesota, all the way west to the Missouri river in South Dakota, the precious golden grain finds its way from the fields to its ulitmate destinations. That is into the nations food supply or via ethanol to try and help slake our seeminly inexhaustible need for liquid power. I was bringing in the last of the squash from the garden that afternoon when the phone call came. A neighborly invitation to ride along during the harvest.Golden waves of grain lie peacefully in all directions to the horizon.
But giant monsters roam free here

Devouring and spitting out all that lies before them. I get to ride with them. The sense from the inside is akin, perhaps, to piloting a jumbo jet down a runway or guiding a string of barges downriver. It is almost other worldly.



The machine steers itself using Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology, although pilot Greg must make the turns at the end of the rows himself. He also must be carefully watching ahead for errant rocks and holes in our path. There is also the occasional crackling of the radio intercom asking for the latest on- the- go test results for "moisture content."


A tractor with hopper pulls along side and corn is transfered from the combine into its bins while we are moving. Not a second can be wasted as as there is still much to do. Everyone keeps an eye on the weather though today is especially gorgeous.




Greg stops to check out something which is plugging up. He quickly resolves the problem.




Greatgrandpa Bob drives the Cat with hopper






Corn is transfered from hopper to semi for the trip to the elevator.
















Grandpa Dick makes those runs. I ask where son Rick is and find out he is working on getting things ready to fertilize the fields when the harvest is complete. The GPS technology will also guide fertilizing this fall and next springs planting. A narrow band of fertilizer will be laid down and next spring the seeds will be planted within an inch of the target row.







Rising above the surrounding countryside the elevators.




The corn is weighed and transferred into the elevator. Each step is carefully calibrated and measurements taken.









With all the fire and fury of this fall's political campaigns, it was remarkable how little discussion was heard during the debates of the issues connected to American agriculture. The survival America's family farms. The promise or folly of converting food into fuel. Pollution and floods. But for this day, I was happy to have been invited along, watching these hard working people help to feed the nation and the world.






Your comments are always welcome if you can find the spot...... way down below. Grrrrr.



16 comments:

  1. As always you tell the story so well. From this story you can't even read the between the lines that they affect your flower beds. Great reporter.

    To get rid of all the space go back in edit and click at the very bottom and hit backspace until you are back up at the last photograph. Go SLOW when you get close. Don't want to delete the photo.

    I do think this story would be great in your local paper. Ought to submit it, just get their ok first.

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  2. Wow! Farming has really become sophisticated. I loved the trip for the harvest. Nice pictures and nice post.

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  3. You always tell such a great story, and as always, very educational.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

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  4. Great post. Love all the photo's. I have always wondered what it was like to ride up in one of those things!!
    Take care!

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  5. Corn still in the fields here. So much rain this week, they won't be harvesting anytime soon. Sounds like you had an interesting afternoon.
    Marnie

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  6. That's really amazing the way the technology has progressed. Thanks for taking us along for the ride!

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  7. Wow - they harvested all the corn around here a long time ago! At any rate, I won't be letting Mr. Geek see this post - he doesn't need to be coveting any more farm toys or getting any new ideas in his head!

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  8. This was interesting and informative to see from beginning to end!

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  9. Great pictorial and story telling...yes, this would be a good one for the local newspaper. Harvest is just about finished here in central Il., the deer have been flushed out and rutting all around. Take care-

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  10. I had to come back to see after the comment you left. You greatly improved it. See you can still learn this computer 'stuff' that you keep saying you can't.

    You can do this this same way as you make the post. I have to do it all the time. Good luck.

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  11. What a nice tour! I grew up on a farm, but things are much different these days... plus I never was involved in the actual harvesting, anyway. Just a bystander.

    You enjoyed a beautiful day. I hope the harvests are going well. Spring planting, in many areas here, was very belated. The crops are being harvested, but many fields were green not so very long ago.

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  12. Thanks for the "inside scoop". My house here in MI is surrounded by farm fields and I get to see the combines driving around the last few weeks, but haven't had a first hand view like you portrayed.

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  13. Just got finished with the corn harvest last week. It's been so wet here, didn't think it would ever happen. I love this time of year -- even if it is cold and damp at times. Lovely post -- thank you.

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  14. That was interesting to see that whole process. It makes you think how much farming has changed in a century.

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  15. Would that every decision affecting this nation was so carefully calibrated and predetermined! At least from a human perspective. Thanks for immersing us in the harvest-time milieu.

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  16. troutbirder...
    After visiting you wonderful blog, I am more than delighted that you enjoyed mine. Thanks for taking the time to comment, it meant a lot as I am very new to this. sandy

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