14 Jul Back roads trump pavement
St. Francis, Kansas—These last couple days, I have really gotten familiar with the back roads of St. Francis. Our fields range from being 15 miles west of Franny to 20 miles south of Franny. Rather than load up the combine for that distance, we just load the header up on the trailer behind the service truck, turn all our caution lights on and cruise at a whopping 22 mph cross-country!
The field we have been cutting on south of town gives us some not-so-fond flashbacks from a couple of years back. In this field, we had both a final drive AND a shaker-pan wear out out on our combine within in the same week. Harvest Support could have just as well parked their trailer at the end of our field for how often they were here during that time. And, of course, the breakdowns that take a little longer to remedy happen on the hottest of days. Isn’t that always the way?
Yesterday morning, I beat Brandon out to the field. Know what that means? I got to drive combine for the day! It’s almost makes harvest seem like it just began when you experience it from a new perspective like that, since I have been driving truck since we began back in Hobart. I think I sat in 17 different seating positions throughout the day since auto-steer gives such freedom of motion. I even had time to clean a spot on the windows I forgot while servicing. And I was able to drink out of my water job using both hands, rather than having one hand on the wheel and one hand on the jug, inadvertently spilling half the jug on my lap in the process.
The wheat we finished cutting south of Franny did around 30 bushels per acre but the test weights were a little on the lighter side, between 53 and 56 pounds. The upside to lighter wheat is that even though the trucks are loaded up, the wheat isn’t as heavy and therefore causes less wear and tear on it. The dirt around here has the consistency of powdered sugar so the trucks have to slow down to snail pace in order to not dust anyone out on the end of the field.
Quote(s) of the Day—“What’s that lettuce-looking weed over yonder?”
“This area seems to be stuck in an 80s dome, that’s the only music you hear around town.”
Stuff Harvesters Like—Roading the combine to a nearby field with a 40-foot header and there are no poles, signs or otherwise roadside obstructions in the way.