NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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September 12, 2011 Agriculture Column


What a harvest week we had.  Temperatures in the mid to upper 80’s made harvest much more smooth than past years experiences.  The only drawback was the amount of humidity in the morning and not enough wind to matter the rest of the day.  It was hard to get started any earlier than 1 in the afternoon.  I also was asked to run a combine for a very short period of time and all I can say is, is WOW.  Combining can’t get much easier.  Turn the corner, hit the auto steer and sit back and watch the rest of the combine do its work.  Attention did need to be addressed to the ground ahead of you and how the header was working but a far cry from the days of the Super 92, or the Massey 27 or even the Massey 21A.  Deb and I talked about the days of our first combine and that being a Massey Super 92.  No cab, no air conditioning, no dust control and no insect control was all part of the day.  Mom and Deb got to run the two Super 92’s and Dad had just bought a John Deere 7700, of course with a cab and air conditioning.  I can still remember Deb and mother wearing those big sombrero type hats to try to shade the sun from being so miserable.  My how times have changed.  I can also remember the unloading the trucks into wood grain bins that held anywhere from 800 bushels with the biggest being 28 bushels now would take two loads to fill and probably an hour which took a day and a half to do back in our farming career.  I can remember working for neighbor named Ronald Chappell and his combine was an IH.   I don not remember the number of the combine but the very small hopper was dumped by a pulling s slide on the side of the hopper.  By the way, we would back the 150 bushel truck box back up to the combine until we hit the tire.  This told us we were where we needed to be and then jump up in the truck to pull the slide.  If you can picture the picture the next step in this process was to shovel the grain to the front of the box as no farmer likes leaving the field with a half of a load.  WOW how things have changed.

The growing degree days have added up this past week.  We are not sitting at 1796, as of Sunday evening, based on a start date of May 22 for planting corn.  It sounds like frost could be possible this week but not enough to hurt the corn much.  Most of our the corn in the area is 80 day corn and still needing another 200 units of heat so no killing frost is needed.


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