But giant monsters roam free here
Devouring and spitting out all that lies before them. I get to ride with along. 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 transferred 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. Amazing !
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 of America's family farms. Corporate takeover. 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.