Corn Harvest 2018
We plant corn in April and watch it slowly come out of the ground, then it’s almost like you blink and it’s 8ft tall. The leaves begin to change colors, and with another blink, the fields of green have turned to fields of gold. We work hard all year long to make sure the corn grows. We spray for weeds, we irrigate in the long hot summer days, we do whatever we can to see the corn through till the end. Then October starts the last stage of the process. Harvest Season. What you’ve spent months growing seems to be gone in a matter of days. And as every farmer does, you pray that this crop was enough to make it another year.
2018 corn harvest is done, but there will be no time for rest this year. With no rain in the forecast, it’s looking like we will have a busy Fall and Winter
For the most part harvest went smoothly this year. My dad cut his corn acerage in half this year and we were only looking at about a 3 week harvest, compared to a 6-7 week harvest. Mother nature was also on our side this year. There were some high wind days, but there was never a threat for rain, and the wind was helpful at times.
We started corn harvest on October 8th. When harvesting corn there is an optimal moisture, 15.5%. When the moisture starts dropping below 12% the kernels can start breaking and pretty much turn to dust, and at that point you’re just losing yield. If the corn is above 15.5% you have to pay the grain elevators to dry the corn, and corn isn’t worth enough to have to PAY to dry it. It’s all about timing. Going into the wine grape world, I see this compared to sugar; brix. Grapes are harvested when they hit a certain sugar content, and it’s all about waiting till you hit that sweet spot.
If we would’ve harvested 10 hours a day every day we probably would have finished in 3 weeks or less, but because the moisture was high we took our time. There was no rain in the forecast so why rush? The only bad part was that it felt like harvest was dragging on, but like I said, in reality it was a great harvest year. The harvester was down 2 days because of an electrical switch being broken, we took Saturdays off to give the corn more time to dry, other than that we were moving.
Because we were a little slower this year, I was able to have some friends spend a few hours on the harvester with me. The Boeger Family came down to visit. If you haven’t read my blog about visiting their winery, please check it out! They brought their daughters down and helped us fill a load. I’ve always loved working with kids, so being able to have them ride around in the harvester and show them what we do was so fun!
So now what? Well since there is still no rain in the forecast we are staying busy. The vineyard is pretty much taken care of for the next couple months. The only thing I need to do is clean my ditches, other than that it’s about time for them to go dormant.
For my dad’s farm, we have a pretty big land leveling job coming up, and most of winter is spent cleaning and fixing equipment. Eventually I’ll get to my “Winter To-Do List” that has been building the last few months!