Thursday, December 23, 2010

harvest update

Harvest is continuing with all the canola finished and about half the peas. The "snail guts" I mentioned last time just got too much for the machine and the grain elevator kept blocking up. So I decided to go on with something a little more abrasive, such as barley, that will actually clean the machine. The first couple of barley paddocks are done, and now that we are staring a little warmer weather in the face I've started on some wheat.  It is all busy busy out in the paddock with a header, plus a chaser bin and myself driving the Kenworth semi-tipper taking load after load out to deliver to our local port.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Harvest update

The weather is being a little kinder to us now, the rain has stopped and the sun is shining, ideal condition for harvesting. Moisture content in grain is very important. It cant be over a certain percentage. So hence when we have we weather the harvesting cant continue until the grain dries out again. That can take a coupla days, but with the right conditions we're all good to go.
We're slowly getting the peas done. During the wet weather we took the opportunity to do a bit of maintenance on the pea plucker. Alot of the fingers broke off in the first paddock which was riddled with clover vine. Probably about half of them needed replacing. It was a relatively simple process (once we worked it out) of just drilling the broken ends out of the holders, cutting a new nylon finger to length (25cm - and they're 10mm diameter flexible nylon rod), threading the end and screwing them back in the holders.
Another of the quite common joys of pea harvesting is snails. The pea plants do attract snails, so heavy snail control methods are used during the year to try and lower their numbers. But still some remain, and the problem with them is "snail guts"! See what happens is when the peas go through the header the snails that come with them get smashed up and the "snail guts" coats the inside of the grain elevators and bubble auger. It combines with all the dust that is going through as well and forms a solid layer which, left unchecked, sets solid like concrete and blocks the machine. So cleaning out snail guts is part of the process of reaping peas.
Reaping canola is much nicer. It's cleaner, quieter, and far less snails. It is a little slower picking up the canola rows with the windrower pick up, but still it's worth it. Canola is worth alot more and the oil content is good too.
Well it's back to my office now, which is the cab of the Kenworth semi-tipper.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Harvest time

We've had as little cold, and damp weather lately so harvest hasn't progress very quickly at all in the past few days, until today. Yep it's warmed up nicely and so the header is now flat out into it. At the moment we're reaping peas. We have been doing them for a couple of days because they can be reapt when it's cooler. And now that it's really starting to warm up it looks like we will keep going... as long as the thundery clouds steer clear. While the headers going we also have the windrower going as well. I'm cutting down the barley into wind rows because it will be the last thing we actually reap. Having it in rows will protect the heads from blowing off onto the ground before we can get to it with the header. So it's all happening. I've got to go and empty a grain bin ready to take to the paddock now so we'll have enough room to store all these peas before we can deliver them to the port.