Saturday, November 2, 2013

Harvest Is Nearly Done

So I was going through Stephanie's camera card to see what I had missed and found this one taken a couple weeks ago that deserved some distribution.  She's quite the agronomist and artsy photographer. 
Tim sent me this one taken last Tuesday of the last corn plot being harvested.  Always a happy milestone, and yet, a bit sad that another season is over.  Not really.   It's good to get done. 
On Wednesday it it was time to switch from the corn head back to the grain header for the milo plot harvest.   
In the meantime, also on Wednesday the veg crew was finishing up the carrot plots.  Hard work with no mechanical parts here.  But at least they can take a bite of what they are harvesting.
On that same Wednesday, now it was time to harvest the third field crop of the past two days: sugarbeets.  Sugarbeet harvest has seen a number of changes since the farm started 20 seasons ago.  For the past several years we have used this old 4-row WIC beet lifter that did the harvest and then they were dumped them into a scaled cart for weighing.  That was kind of slow and also hard to get all of the beets out of the tank.  We had thought about putting some weigh bars on a new tank for years, but had not made it happen until now.  We can thank master fabricator Ron for the building work.  Here is Tim riding the platform during a plot harvest. 
Actually this one plot nearly filled the tank.  Here we see Tim recording the weight listed on the scale.  It also has some small doors so that some samples can be collected for quality analysis at the sugar lab.  It really helps, and there are a couple of beet experiments yet to go.

So Stephanie had other duties, and I wasn't there for this.  So who took these pictures of the first operation of the new beet weighing system?  Well it was our MSU summer intern Mike who stopped by with some friends to show where he spent the summer.  This was a good day to see something exciting like this.  Now we just use the cart to empty the beets into and haul to a pile on the edge of the field to be collected later.  
Thanks for the pics Mike, and I hope your friends were impressed. 
Incidentally, Michigan State is currently stomping on the poor (not) Wolverines.  Always a mood lifter for me, and all the Spartan fans across the world.  With another big game yet to come tonight.  Go Cowboys.