Harvest Journal Post #1

 Harvest Journal Post #1

Well after weeks of waiting for the rain, frost, fog, and generally miserable weather to break, we are now having some sun and heat.  Now, the standing crops have yet to cure fully and the swaths are a little tough yet; however, the forecast is good and the overall is a bit more optimistic

The forecast for a few days of heat has renewed optimism that we may get some of the 2010 crop in the bin; however, we are a long way from confident the weather will hold, as we are only pulling the combine out of the quonset and it is nearly October 1.

I guess this is one of those years we can post as a mental note for future reference to our children when discussing challenging harvests, much like my father reminding me that it is still not as wet as '86 but just as late.

I often wonder if the part of my DNA that corresponds years with yield and weather conditions is missing, as I can rarely recite the challenging years of excessive moisture or drought like the old farmers. Yet they can barely remember where the parked the service truck in the morning. Maybe it I will come to me as I age. I do admit I may just remember the harvest of 2010, as it has no doubt been memorable and we have not even officially started.

After four weeks of wet, cloudy, freezing weather, the last three days of sun and heat are certainly welcome as my nerves were certainly getting a bit on edge. The decision to go ahead and swath wheat several weeks ago may be one that I regret once I see a sample, but what is done is done! In hindsight I probably would have sprayed more of the standing wheat, but the costs were adding up and nine out of 10 years we can get away with swathing. Unfortunately, now the wheat that is not in the swath and not sprayed is going to have to be swathed, so this is how I have filled the last three days. Swathing is almost therapeutic when everything is still too tough to combine, as it feels productive and one step closer to combining. Most of what was left standing has a lot of frost damage so I am not overly concerned with potential down grading, even if it does rain and it still has a fair amount of green in it.

As I had discussed in my previous post "Harvest Chess," every action has a consequence at harvest and decisions, once made, have to be accepted without looking back. This is probably the part of farming that poses the most challenging on a year like this where every decision seems like the wrong one. I always try to keep in perspective that years that are unusual are almost impossible to make accurate decisions for, as they work against an instinct learned in "normal" conditions.

So, today, I will finally pull out the combine with no distractions and decisions left to be made; every thing that has been sprayed is sprayed, and everything to be swathed is down. Now I get to start the game of musical fields looking for dry grain. I am holding my breath that the forecast will continue to hold and we can finally get harvest 2010 in full swing.