Yay. It’s summer.

imageI can’t decide if I’m glad or sad it’s summer on the plains.

The winds have been absolutely relentless.  Every day. All day.  I need to spray weeds but that ain’t happening.  Maybe not till December.

And the chaos has been non-stop. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Reunions. Weddings. Harvests…

Yeah that would be plural on “harvest”.  We’re cutting wheat as I type. Big Boss and I spent yesterday afternoon working on baby cedar trees planted for a shelter belt.  There were stopped up water outlets that go to each tree to be fixed.  Weeds were waist high in some places so those got the axe. Dead trees counted and marked. Then lunches to deliver to harvest guys. Also grands delivered to dads in combines. Trucks to move for the harvest guys and harvest guys to be moved to different fields.

Sunday… a day of rest. Right.

But back to the plural harvest.  Two weeks ago we were cutting triticale.  Triticale is…for those who don’t know…a mix of wheat and rye.  It was hugely popular about 15 years ago until they found out that it spreads like its parent grain, rye.  Not good. But, if you cut it before the seeds fall, you’ve got a great source of nutrition for cattle, so that’s what we do.

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We swathe (cut it close to the ground like hay) first. This will take moisture out of the plants which will implement the fermentation process.

Our crop consultant wanted us to harvest it for seed as he was of the opinion that our triticale was the best he’d seen in  the state. But the guys nixed that and chose to “chop” it or cut it as opposed to “harvesting” it.

The cutter comes behind the swathed plants and picks them up.

The cutter comes behind the swathed plants and picks them up.

What’s the diff?  Glad you asked.  Chopping means the Claas chopper goes through the field and literally cuts the plant off right above the ground and chops the whole thing up.  From there it goes to the silo to ferment just like we treat our corn crops.

As the cutter is picking up the triticale, it shoots the chopped up plants into a truck that is riding alongside the cutter.

As the cutter is picking up the triticale, it shoots the chopped up plants into a truck that is riding alongside the cutter.

Trucks take the chopped triticale to the silo where they dump their load.

Trucks take the chopped triticale to the silo where they dump their load.

Once the truck pulls out, the tractor driver pushes the product up into the silo and drives over it over and over...this packs it all down tight and encourages good fermentation.

Once the truck pulls out, the tractor driver pushes the product up into the silo and drives over it over and over…this packs it all down tight and encourages good fermentation. Once the silo is full, a huge tarp is pulled over the top of it and tires are piled on top of the tarp to keep it from blowing away. Yes, the winds get that strong!

 

Harvesting involves cutting the plant right above the ground but then “threshes” the grain.  Which means the combine processes the plant to take out and keep only the grain, which for our farm, is wheat.

Now that we have that established, here a few pics from the triticale cutting…

After a field is chopped, our tractors pull in to plant another crop.

After a field is chopped, our tractors pull in to plant another crop.

Nearly done with this field.

Nearly done with this field.

 

PS Wheat harvest pic to follow. Maybe.

 

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