Bean There Done That

The bean run is done. Perfect weather for the whole race. Yields were good but not great. Maybe a little above average but nothing to brag about. I finished up on Thursday, October 22. It rained on the next day. Off and on all day. It was getting dry so the rain is a good thing. Fields were catching fire when worn out bearings threw sparks that ignited the super dry crop residue.

Thirty some acres of standing corn was burned down and totally lost somewhere nearby. According to the bar chatter on Friday evening. Fortunately I’m not part of the fire starter crowd since I’m not using my fire starting Fisher Price combine I’d bought (been ripped off for) locally by “a good church going Christian”. Everybody started carting a tractor hooked to a disk around to set in each field they were cutting in case of emergency. Nothing fights a field fire better than a disk.

Now it’s on to the corn. One crop down with one to go. In more ways than just price and harvest (and fire). I hear the corn dried down naturally in the field. Good thing since we are already losing enough money on every bushel as it is. Wet corn would have added insult to injury. I only wish the EPA would let my people grow and allow the ethanol to reach Congress’s mandated level of production. At the total mandated the surplus bushels would disappear and profitability could be restored in the grain growing business. As it is we are held hostage by appointed administrative bureaucrats. The kind that are very hard to fire since you can’t vote their sorry asses out of office.

After two weeks of climbing combine ladders I’m beginning to toughen up. Some of the soreness is abating from my muscles. Another three or four weeks will finish the crops and the workout. I’ll be fit as a fiddle going into winter. Ready to cut and split the wood for warmth.



!!! Off With My Heads !!!

The bean run’s begun. Sort of. As of this afternoon. About a thousand feet in on the first pass I lost my head. I had been rumbling tough beans and gopher mounds through the combine and I panicked and backed up before I had raised the bean head off the ground. That’s when I’d realized I had forgotten to latch the two clamps on the bottom of the feeder house that locks the head on. I was backing away from a still running head that was just sitting there on the ground.

The only thing touching the soil is suppose to be the sickle bar that cuts the bean off right above the ground. And it isn’t even really touching the ground it’s riding on the stubble that’s left in the soil after the plant’s cut off. Unless you back away from it because you forgot to latch it on. An hour of jacking, prying, and blocking and I had it back on. It had happened cutting over the end of a terrace so everything was out of kilter and wouldn’t line back up. If that’s my worst breakdown this run I’ll be a very fortunate man.

Before I could start cutting beans I had to remove some corn that was growing in the way. On three of my bean patches corn was planted either where I want to load trucks or where I need to drive to get to the bean fields. I picked a little over a wagon full and threw it in an air bin to dry with natural air. Pumped through a very unnatural fan. It meant a lot of dicking around but everything could use a little more time to dry down out in the fields. There’s no money in the budget to buy electricity and LP gas to dry with.

So I’m off, then on and off again, then off and on again with my heads. But that’s too much for a title. Maybe I can trim it a bit.