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October 7

October 7

Farmer's Field




General View - Oct. 7, 2003It's 3:00 PM and we're going to harvest our field today. If you look closely to the left, you'll see that a few rows have already been harvested.  It won't take long to harvest our one acre field!  There are still a lot of leaves on the plants.  As I mentioned last week, a farmer would have used a chemical to dry down the plants so the field could be harvested.  We couldn't do that, so we waited another week and now we're going to cut our field.

Back of head - Oct. 7, 2003The back of this head appears to be dry.  You can see the combine pulling in to start harvesting the rows where I'm standing.

Cross section - Oct. 7, 2003This is the cross section of the head we just looked at. You can see head moth damage.  The head appears to be dry.  But, as I break apart the head material to separate the seeds it's not as dry as I would have thought it would be. This might cause a problem for the combine to cleanly thresh the seeds from the head.

Center seeds versus outside seeds - Oct. 7, 2003If you will remember, we saw a similar picture back on August 26 which showed the difference in seed size between seeds from the outside edge and seeds from the center. At that time we were concerned this seed size difference might be a yield-limiting problem or maybe it was an odd chance.  Well, it appears this seed size difference is rather widespread across the field. As you can see, the seeds on the left are from the center and on the right are the seeds from the outside edge.  There's a difference and this will cause a yield reduction.  This situation was caused by the hot, dry weather we had in July and August.

Combine in field - Oct. 7, 2003Well, enough of this chit-chat, we've got to cut this field or what's left of it.  This is a New Holland combine and it will take about 15 minutes to cut our field even with a 5 or 10 minute coffee break! 

View from inside the combine - Oct. 7, 2003Driving a combine is a unique experience, they don't go very fast, but it takes plants into the combine by clipping the heads and then it separates the grain or seeds from the plant materials and you end up with fairly clean seed. This picture is from inside the combine looking down onto the field. The tinted glass makes the plants appear to be rather green, huh?

Well, I'm a little disappointed about how our field did. We harvested about 1,000 pounds of seed per acre.  Originally, I thought our field might yield about 1,800 to 2,000 pounds per acre.  But considering the dry conditions we had during flowering and early grain filling and the amount of head moth damage, I guess we should be happy with what we got.  

We will have to find a "real" farmer that is harvesting and watch how it's suppose to be done!