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View from the Cab: Crossing the finish

It sure is a relief to have all of the crops harvested.

During those last few fields, farmers often wonder if a breakdown or weather delay will hamper the rest of harvest. It’s like crossing the finish line after a long race except there aren’t too many people cheering as you are driving the tractor up the lane one final time. You may have heard me cheering from inside the cab as I pulled the machine in the shed.

We were lucky to have a decent fall which went pretty smooth, except for a few days when rain or heavy dew prevented us from harvesting soybeans in a timely manner. Even though the harvest wasn’t quite as fast as last year, many growers were still able to finish up in four to six weeks.

Our final day of harvest last week was an interesting one as a CBS television crew from 60 Minutes stopped by the field near Pontiac to record some footage of the combine, auger wagon and semi in action. We also had the pleasure of hosting some farmers from Brazil who were impressed with the combine and the way we farm here in Central Illinois.

I feel bad for those who still have soybeans standing out in the field. After last week’s rain and our shorter days, it is getting tougher to harvest beans. Some warmer-than-normal temperatures this week should hopefully allow area producers to finish up. I think it’s safe to say most of the corn is out of the field. You know it is getting late in the year when the weekly crop progress reports will no longer be issued by the National Agricultural Statistics Service because there is not much to report on.

It was a relief to have a change of pace last week as I transitioned from combine driver and auger cart operator to chisel plow man. I could sit in that tractor for days at a time if I have my coffee, music and a pair of shades nearby.

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