All Moving Parts

Stand Still.

The local grain elevators are closed for Sunday. The grain bins are all full. The wagons are all full and parked by the road to load on semis. The second year corn is all combined, nothing left but corn on bean ground. I have ten or so acres to go. The rain is moving in. Somehow I feel a nap coming on.

But not until I go to Bomgaar’s and get a new rubber bubble for priming my chainsaw. I tried to cut firewood this morning and the darn thing wouldn’t stay running. It’s not old enough to be causing trouble yet. I could use a new chain and a few other items also. So maybe not all moving parts stand still, only the harvest parts.

Ah, the wind down.
Then, there …….



Sorry for the absolute briefness of my last couple transmissions.

When I come up for air I only have time to inhale. I have been busy swimming through a sea of corn. Five hundred acres to be exact. Well four hundred seventy so far to be even more precise. I still have thirty more acres to go but the rain has shut me out of the field this morning. It gave a gallant try starting before daybreak but the mid morning’s break in the showers afforded me the opportunity to sneak out and bring the last two semi loads from across the creek to the curb for easy removal.

Now, Last Field! I have already done half of it. Back in September when I began this adventure we like to call harvest. Hardest is more like it. Harvest is the hardest part of farming. Maybe not the most critical as for timing but it can be. On a good year with a large yield we have lots more work to do for no more (and sometimes less) money. Hardest but the most gratifying. Hauling in so much per acre. “Call the truck I’m already full!” the advertisement for Pioneer Hybrids used to say. Indeed. In deed.

Afloat. I’m swimming in a sea of debt but my sea of corn may be ransom enough. Ransom to free my name. That funny thing they want all the time to give you things they have that they want to loan to you. Whenever I borrow equipment from a neighbor I always seem to end up breaking it and buying two of whatever the borrowed item is before I own one. I buy one to give back to the gent that I borrowed it from and one to finish the job I’d borrowed it for. I think a mortgage works the same way.

All backstroking to the same tune. In this parade of parodies.



First Farm!!

One farm done. On the bean run. Or at least I thought it was when I quit in the dark last night. I had a full hopper on the combine and I wasn’t interested in crossing the creek crossing in the dark again so after I road blazed around the safe way and dumped the hopper I called it quits. I have about a round or so above the bottom south terrace east of the creek/barn and a couple wet and or weedy spots to grind through then it’s moving time.

Back to the farm next door’s sixty some acres. Then home for the last thirty. Then it’s on to golden corn. Ah, to live in Iowa and to grow the corn. Ah. Shuck and ah. If we ever get that far. Here it is the 14th of October and I have a measly eighty some acres of beans done. It’s always too wet. Doesn’t bode well for drying the corn either. The fan’s off much more than it’s on for the couple thousand bushels of corn I’m trying to dry here at home.

All in all a normal fall. The days get shorter and the air gets colder. Who needs air conditioning? Last night I thought I needed heat running after dark in the combine. In the pickup I’ve already run the heater a few times. Red, the $700.00 pickup with the Hemi and headers that I’ve put brakes on and a water pump in, is now sporting a new battery and new battery cable ends. Eventually I’ll run out of mechanic’n to do. On second thought …….

Then and there,



Little Wet

The bean run.
Three loads out.
Yesterday, the 4th of October we loaded the second and third semi loads of beans for delivery to Scoular grain elevator in Hancock Iowa. The day before we loaded out the first and I ran the other two that afternoon-evening. Sunday when I started at 4:30 in the afternoon everybody and their dog was combining beans. That load tested 13.1% moisture, just enough to warrant a dock on the payout which starts at 13.1 and scales up above that.

Monday the wind was blowing out of the south so I didn’t wait till 4:30 PM to start. I began when everybody else did, by 4:30 I had enough for a load done and was starting to run enough for a second. That first load cost me another point of moisture. With a higher dock. Guess I should have let the neighbors run without me for a few hours again.

This morning I dumped another 1.2 inches of rain out of the gauge. We are good and wet. We have never really dried out from the last one. One cause of the too wet beans. The top of the soil may dry during the day but the moisture in the soil comes back to the top at night. Add the dew and the drying is being fought on two fronts, or in this case levels, above and below.

They’re calling for rain again tomorrow. I think I’ll finish the clean grain elevator rebuild and get a tractor rear tire repaired while it’s too wet to cut beans. That means buying a few more bearings and a new sprocket for the lower end of the clean grain elevator. I hate to spend money but this will save grief for a few years and then some.

I get enough grief from the grain markets.

Then, there.