Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Beeting the Storm

So yesterday started out normal enough with some corn plot harvest.  Then as the weather was checked in the afternoon, it looked like the effects of the Hurricane Sandy would reach into mid-Michigan.  That's when the field crops crew got ambitious and sought to get as much harvested as possible before the weather turned.  Part of the crew went to harvest sugarbeets and the rest kept going on corn.  The following pics were taken by Beet Crew member Stephanie.  Below we see Doug topping the middle four rows of the plots to be harvested while Tim observes.  Tim is kind of our beet expert as that was his main focus while with USDA all those years.  This is his first harvest here at the NCRS, so at some point I will ask him for his thoughts.  On beets that is.
Here are the clean-shaven beets ready for lifting.  Now unfortunately these were re-planted beets after our big flood here on Farm 7 last May.  Water stood here for days and ruined the plot, so we had to replant in late May, which is over a month later than would be ideal.  (We don't actually say "re-plant" around here because it's such a dirty word.  We use the "r-word" instead.)  So they are kind of small and had lower yield, but we will see if we learned anything.
Doug pilots the beet lifter through the plots.  It's getting dark.
The beets from a plot are dumped into a scale wagon for yield determination.  Samples are collected for quality analysis which is very important for sugarbeets.
We enjoyed a beautiful sunset to enjoy during the harvest work.  Stephanie got pretty artsy here.  (If you look just right below the barn in the background, you can see the lights of the combine and grain cart tractor.  We pick up their story next.)
Another experiment is history.