Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On again Off again harvest

The weather has been a little "trying" for us farmers over the past week or so. To deliver grain to the local receival ports the moisture content in the grain has to be down to a certain level (13.5% to be exact), well the "inclement weather of late has made it quite difficult to get down to to that level and so harvest grinds to a halt. This week it's been a bit like half a day reaping, then showers... coupla days later, half a day reaping again, then showers.
Today has been the exception. We made a start mid-morning and were able to reap wheat all day, and it looks as if the good weather is going to stay with us for a few days now, so it will be full steam ahead.
The new CR9070 harvesting some Espada wheat
The CR9070 has a Honeybee 40' fixed draper front.
While the CR9070 has been busy on the wheat, the older TR88 harvester has been used to reap field peas. This has been with mixed success as well. With pea reaping in this area comes snails. They can contaminate the pea sample, but they also smash up as they go through the header with the result being a layer of "snail guts" that coat the inside of the grain elevators and bubble up auger. It combines with the dust that also goes along with pea harvesting and sets hard like concrete. Eventually it builds up so much that it jams the machine if it's not regularly cleaned out. Depending on how bad the snails are the clean out may need to be done every boxfull (that is about 3 or 4 tonne - the capacity of the grain tank in the header) or just once per day.
The other day we discovered that there is one section of the grain elevator that we couldn't access to clean out, and over the years it had been building up and building up, until the elevator would no longer operate. It meant that we had to actually get out the angle grinder and cut out a panel on the elevator to make an access door so it could be cleaned out. The header hasn't been used since then, but now the whole clean grain path operated a whole lot easier.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Harvesting

It has been a while since I've written, and since then so much has happened. Our canola has been windrowed, the peas have been dessicated, the pastures have been spray topped, the wool has been sold, equipment has been prepared for harvest and harvest has started.

Actually you could probably say that it has more than started. All the windrowed canola has been harvested. Yields are down a little bit this year, due to early snail and mice damage, but the oil content has been quite good, so that'll gives us a good oil bonus.

We've pulled the pea plucker out as well and pulled into a few paddocks of peas. Once again, yields down a little, but quality pretty good (besides all the snails in the sample which landed the peas in the cleaning segregation at the local receival site).

We used the New Holland TR88 for reaping the windrowed canola and peas, but you may remember a while back I mentioned a brand new combine harvester was due to be delivered (think I may have even included a song to go with it). Well the brand new New Holland CR9070 has now been delivered, and just the other day we pulled her into the first paddock of barley.. and here is some video footage of that very event (if it works).

video

That was a coupla days ago, and since then we've also reapt a paddock of wheat with her... and then next morning... it rained. So we've basically been waiting for the moisture to come down to meet receival standards before we could do any more. That will probably be tomorrow I'd say.. as long as we don't have morning showers again.