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View from the Cab: Harvest firsts

By: Kent Casson

Harvest may signify the end of another growing season but there are plenty of harvest “firsts” I enjoy each year.

I enjoy the first time getting in the combine every fall. Running a combine through corn or soybeans is just like riding a bike or playing a musical instrument – it all comes back even after an extended time away. That feeling of bringing in the crops is hard to beat here in Central Illinois.

The first really cool evening is special as it reminds us the uncomfortably warm temperatures are behind us. The smell of harvested corn fills the air and many of the bugs are gone by this time. Even though the days grow shorter during harvest, you can occasionally gaze up at the harvest moon and stars dotting the sky.

The inaugural trip to the local grain elevator is always special. During the drive there, I am wondering what other farmers are hauling in like we are. Will the elevator be busy with lines stretching down the street or will we be the only ones there dumping grain? Will the scale operators be anyone I know?

That first time spotting a combine in the field for the season always brings excitement. When I see someone rolling through a cornfield, this means the race is on for harvest and we need to get our combine out of the shed and start going. This harvest season seems to be off to a slower start as we started almost a week after I noticed the first guys out in the field and there still aren’t too many going just yet.

It felt good to get out in the field last week to officially open up the 2021 harvest season. We have been busy harvesting corn in recent days and may start on soybeans in the next week. Those beans look pretty good and we will soon find out how good they actually are.

The kids and I took our obligatory opening day selfie picture from the tractor cab. I gave them the choice of riding in the combine or auger wagon tractor and they chose the tractor since they actually get to drive it across the field at random times. There is no need for auto steer when I have a couple of farm kids in the cab. Kaislee hasn’t joined us for a ride just yet but will soon head out to visit, I’m sure. She may grab for the steering wheel but needs a little practice.

I hope all of the farmers out there have a safe and abundant harvest season. Remember to take a break every now and then and enjoy those special family moments out on the farm.


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