Farming

IMG_0767Recently I was challenged on Facebook to place ten pictures in ten days of our farming operation. I realized I have a lot of pictures like the one above that many people don’t see. The challenge said not to give explanations for the pictures, but I feel like maybe not everyone knows what they are seeing in the pictures. Before marrying my farmer, I didn’t!

In the picture above there is a combine harvesting corn. Notice the the corn is dry and the stalks are standing. This is what the farmer wants. If we get a great deal of rain about the time of harvest and the roots of the corn plants are not deep and strong, the stalks will fall over causing the corn to “go down.” This is a great deal more work for the combine driver when corn is scattered all over. The rows are easy to see when the corn plant is standing but not when the corn goes down in the fields. The larger fingers of the front of the combine run between the rows and a series of rotating spirals pull the plants into the combine. The inside of the machine removes the corn kernels that are then stored in the hopper (the large, open bin at the top of the combine) and the corn stalk is chopped and thrown out the back, along with the corn cob. You never want to stand near the back of a working combine as the debris comes out dangerously quickly and could harm you.

Besides the combine is a grain or auger cart. You can see that the combine also has an auger. That is the arm sticking out on the side. It can be pulled in between uses.

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When the hopper is full, the farmer can empty it on the move by opening the auger. Then grain will move through the auger and into the wagon being pulled by the driver of the tractor. A good driver can match the sped and direction of the combine, not getting too close and not going too fast, allowing the combine operator to dump the grain in the hopper into the moving wagon.

After the grain is moved to the wagon, the tractor driver will drive to a nearby set of wagons or semi-truck to move the grain to market or a grain bin site for storage until later.

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A semi can hold a great deal of grain.

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If wagons are used, they need to be moved and emptied into bins quickly before the grain in the combine fills all available wagons.

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You’ll notice that in the above picture, my son is going to ride with the operator. The boys often ride in the combine, the semi, and the grain cart during harvest.

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Our sons also help to fix or check on the equipment. We take safety very seriously. The boys are learning early to be aware of equipment and moving implements.

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If you see equipment moving during harvest or planters moving around (this time of year) getting the crops planted, PLEASE be careful on the roads. Sometimes operators have trouble seeing you. Know that they are high in the air and are operating VERY heavy equipment. If your vehicle strikes them, it (and maybe you) will be hurt. Use safety when passing and don’t drive too close. A few minutes behind the equipment might give you time to think, hear your favorite song on the radio, or even talk to your children about the need for farmers.

With less than 1% of our US population being farmers, they have a really important job! To feed everyone else in the United States as well as sending grain to those around the world is an important and necessary job that only a few people do. Pray for them. Pray for us, the farm families. Love your boys! Teach them where their food comes from and why that is important. Without American farmers, we have no say in how our food is produced or where it is produced!

What questions do you have about equipment? Are your boys interested in farm equipment?

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