Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Every fall, Jim seeds cover crops of rye and either barley or wheat on some of our fields. 

The rye fields are usually grazed or baled and then "burnt off" before planting, and the barley or wheat fields are harvested for the grain.  After harvesting the grain, the remaining straw is baled for bedding.

This week the barley tested at an acceptable moisture level for harvesting.  So...today the combine arrived. 

The cows, curious as usual, are looking to see what has invaded "their" field.  That's the barley field right on the other side of the combine...

The combine starts through the field...Murphy trotting along behind.  The grain goes into a bin inside the combine, while the straw is discharged out the back. The combine is set to leave the straw in two windrows, which will be just right for our baler to pick up and bale later this evening...

Watching the combine coming across the field towards me...

Beautiful heads of barley up close, just before harvesting...

I rode once around the field in the combine...this is the view from inside.  Several areas of the field were "lodged", or knocked down from the heavy rains we had over the weekend.  When the barley lodges like this, it is difficult, if not impossible for the combine to pick it up, and some of the grain is left on the ground, wasted... 

The combine driver works in comfort in a roomy, air-conditioned cab, with the latest in technology at his fingertips.  This combine is equipped with a computer that has a GPS, which maps the fields as he works.   It tells him exactly how big the field is, the moisture level and yield of the grain, as well as which sections of the field yielded the highest, etc...

All in all, it was a good barley day.  The yield was good, although it would have been even better had it not lodged, and the straw has all been baled and stacked in the barn for beddingNext on the agenda for this field will be spreading manure from the heifer pens, and then a short season corn will be planted as a double crop.  And oh yes...there's more hay to bale tomorrow!

It looks like we won't be bored for the next week or so!


  1. That's not work! That's fun!

  2. So glad you're getting hay and straw done. We've had such a lot oF rain lately, so I haven't started hay yet.

  3. That's really neat to see, thanks for sharing:@)

  4. Busy, busy time for you, Alica.

    I love the shot of the cows looking at the combine -- like, how rude! :)

  5. Great pictures and you field of barley looks great!

    and yes you'll be busy!!!

    Thanks for sharing

  6. Oh Alica I love the photos I have never been in a cool combine like that. I love the way you describe the process. Thanks for the trip. B

  7. Your posts are always so interesting and informative. Glad the weather was cooperating for the harvest, but bummer about the barley being lodged. (See, I just used "farm jargon"! I always learn something here. :-D)


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