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Questions of the harvest

October 26, 2018
By KAREN SCHWALLER - Columnist (kschwaller@evertek.net) , Farm News

Though it's hard to believe, the 2018 harvest season finally did premier on all fronts, even if it was a little late in coming, and brought its own share of troubles. If you wear a seed corn cap, you are probably juggling quandaries and answering mountains of questions-your own and those of others, as they seek your guidance with standing water and muddy fields.

The farmer's ability to process information is uniquely mysterious to me, as his/her brain must be running on all cylinders at all times during harvest-and all while keeping a watchful eye on combine monitors that tell him/her if they will be dining on steak or offal in the coming year. Though everyone's harvest is different, I thought I'd share with you some of the questions that tend to pop up in conversation and over two-way radios during harvest time.

"How's it yielding?"

"How do you get to that field?"

"Can you run after a part?"

"Who counted these rows, anyway?"

"Where do these beans go?"

"What the hell happened here?"

"How are you doing for fuel?"

"Which corn goes in which bin?"

"Where do you want to load the trucks?"

"Did you know your (cows/sheep/hogs) are out?"

"What's the moisture/test weight?"

"Are there any (antacids) in the tractor?"

"Did you write your weight down?" (The farm woman's personal favorite....)

"Where are we going next?"

"Can you bring the impact wrench when you come to the field?"

"Where are the damn chains/tow rope?"

"I wonder if we can get one more load to the elevator before they close?" "Seriously??!?!"

"Which wet hole?"

"Guess how much this load weighed?"

"Did you bring my nosebag?" ('Nosebag' is our name for 'lunch box,' because our noses are always in them looking for something to eat...)

"Are you keeping track of all the scale tickets?" (...and the now-famous Facebook quote that says of the slow start to the 2018 harvest: "I now have more receipts from the liquor store than I have scale tickets.")

"What's the plan for tomorrow?"

"Who has the toilet paper?"

"I wonder how long (the implement store) is open?"

"What number of corn is this?"

"Do you suppose this was the planter, or operator error?"

"What's the hold-up?"

"You wanna pull that truck up onto the driveway before loading it?"

"Have you ever seen skid marks like that?" (...said every mother who ever potty-trained her children-but is now also said by farmers everywhere as they scan their gleaned fields and see their courageous attempts to conquer the mud.)

"Is the truck on the way?"

"Suppose this is a job for a wrecker or an excavator?"

"Do you want my help? ...because there are plenty of other things I could be doing today." (...says a frazzled wife to her stressed-out farmer husband when she doesn't want to be snapped at anymore.)

And finally-(while combining downed corn): "Is it too early to start drinking?"

Karen Schwaller is a Farm News correspondent from Milford. Reach her by e-mail at kschwaller@evertek.net and www.karenschwaller.com

 
 

 

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