our Grapes and Saddle Sores
Field Repairs November l. 2007
I checked with some of my farmer friends as this year's harvest progressed. We talked about yields of both corn and beans,and I learned that the average varied. There was some very good production and some poor production. The differences in the amount of rain fall in various parts of the county, the the temperature differences from hot to cool, the some time rain fall just at the right time and the dry period that occured were the reasons for the differences in production.
Harvesting the crops was made difficult by wind storms that did damage in most of the county, and there was severe damage in a lot of the crop. I saw a corn field where the whole field was flat and was picked in only one direction so that it took more time than usual because the machine had to move slowly to get the crop recovered. Beans were often harvested across a field following the way the stalks fell, often at a diagonal from the direction the crop was planted, and even then it often required stops to harvest bunched up stalks.
I had the feeling that the harvest was especially hard on machinery and the operators, because breakdowns caused by difficulty of the harvest were more than usual.
Back when I was engaged in farmering we often made field repairs. Those were breakdowns that could be temporarily fixed to complete the round or the field. The repair was made by a trip to the nearest fence line and borrowing some wire to patch the trouble. We used to laugh (well,not really) at being barb wire mechanics.
Which leads me to the reason for this column. I visited with the neighbor farmer who farms the fields across the highway from where I live, and as I talked with him about the results of the test plot that he had just harvested I learned the beans yield was between 50 and 60 bushels an acre, which was pretty good. The plot had to be threshed all from one direction because of wind damage.
He had made a field repair in order to finish up. He told me that the thirty foot head had developed a problem that collected bean stalks instead of letting them go into the machine. He said he repaired it with duck tape. He said the color gray did not match the color of his machine and that it had to be replaced several times He said that the roll of tape was almost gone when they finished. Good old field repair, and more than that his skill found a way to keep the harvest going.
I would say that this years crop was hard on the people who grow and harvest the beans and corn in our county because it required ingenuity to get the crop in. Whether is is barbed wire on a wheat binder or duck tape on a thirty foot self-propelled combine the persons who do the work need to be innovative about repairing machinery.
Created by. Last Modification: Sunday 04 of November, 2007 20:10:58 UTC by .