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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tough Grain In The Bin

Yes, I have some tough wheat in the bin now. I made an "executive decision" yesterday afternoon to combine wheat. For those not familiar with the term "tough", it refers to the moisture content of the grain. Wheat is considered dry at 14.5% moisture. Anything above that level and we will receive a discount on the already low selling price. Plus the grain is at risk of spoilage.  But when the days grow short as we reach September and heavy rain is in the forecast, sometimes we have to gamble. At least the cold temperatures were in my favor as cold grain stores safer than hot.
With the cloudy cold and still damp morning I had been prepared to leave the combine in the shed but when the sun came out about noon it inspired me to head out with the combine and try a sample. It went well but I could tell the moisture content was up just by the way the grain piled in the hopper. Short trip home for a moisture test confirmed my suspicions. 17.1% moisture. Still, after two days of inactivity from the last rain I wasn't going to give up that 4 remaining hours of sunshine and wind knowing what tomorrow's forecast held (rain). Every rain fall robs us of quality, weight and price at this stage of the game. A quick change over of the grain auger to the aeration bin so I can blow a little air through the tough grain and I was rolling again. My ever faithful truck driver showed shortly to take the grain away and I commenced serious harvesting. Slow going in the heavy, lodged crop areas and the old 466 was surging up and down in rpm as heavy slugs of straw hit the rotor. Carefully avoiding flooded areas with only a few scary incidents of wheel slip I was able to work well after sundown. In fact I had serious hopes of finishing the field if I could stay awake til midnight (or more). Optimism and hope were dashed though as I rolled up to the truck to unload and heavy mist hit the windshield about 10:30.  
It varies from one region to the next and hard to find an up to date online harvest progress report but the last I heard Sask. is well behind normal progress for this date. Somewhere in the 50% complete range. Good to hear. I am about 51% done.

1 comment:

  1. If the harvest is short, maybe the price will go up.