The good news first. I got in 3 or more good days harvesting and finished the cereal grains.The bad news, I still have 130 or so acres flax swaths waiting to be harvested. And both combines incapacitated and an eighty percent chance of rain tomorrow. Yes, the flax tested dry (9.7 percent moisture) this afternoon. When I finished the oats I tried a sample of flax. The IH is a fantastic combine on cereals and canola but an absolute failure on flax. It wrapped up tight with flax straw on the beater within the first minute of picking up swath. That means a laborious session with hooks and hack saw blades to get it unplugged. At least I got enough flax in the hopper for a moisture test. Headed for the five mile drive home to park the flax wrapped IH and figured I'd head back with the JD pull type and at least get an hour of combining flax before dark. Already 4:30 with darkening skies and the wind dropped to nothing so I knew it would be a short run.
Far shorter than I expected though. The JD never even got out of the shed. Turned the key and the Magnum barely cranked the engine. Those 15 year old batteries finally failed. I'd been expecting that for the past year or so. That is about double the life most get out of a set of tractor batteries and I guess they don't owe me anything. Luckily they held out for the weekend and I got one flax field done at least.
That John Deere 7721 pull type just eats up flax swaths but even it has a few spots I have to watch and check frequently for flax straw wrapping. I came very close to burning it down last harvest when flax wrapped so tight on a rotating shaft that it started to smoke and burnt the paint off the cylinder housing.
First flax field was not great yielding due to excess moisture and weed re-growth. The next two look much better . The last wheat field was excellent . Clean and heavy. Unfortunately bleached by weather and laying in the swath through rains. The moose crap in the sample is a little worrisome and will almost surely down grade it to feed status. Laying swaths in moose/deer country has it's drawbacks.
The wheat at 15.7 percent moisture was a point above dry but considering the forecast of rain there was no way I was going to wait any longer. Got in my best and longest harvest day of the season yesterday cleaning off a good 80 acres of wheat. Pushed the old IH pretty hard on those heavy wheat swaths but it never plugged or broke anything even working late into the night when the straw got so damp and wet that it would hardly feed off the pickup.
Really nice sunset yesterday and I took a picture of it through the window as I was combining Figured it would make a good one for the Sask Scenery facebook page but it turned out pretty unimpressive on the screen.
I even got a chance to vote in the federal election late today. I'd decided earlier in the day that no way was I going to waste at least an hour of harvesting time driving to town and back to vote. Figured I'd exercise my right not to vote. But, seeing as I was shut down my mechanical problems late in the day I decided I needed my mail and groceries anyway so it made the trip to town worth while.
Oh well, if it does rain and I can't harvest for the next few days there is always this ......