Early Harvest Worries

Harvest may be one of our craziest times of year, but it’s also the one that we always try to rush. After months of work, we are so ready to get our crops out of the field and into the safety of the grain bins. Plus, it’s one of the rare times that farmers actually get a pay check.

Harvest is still going very slow for us. We had a gloriously cool summer, but it has set us back a bit this fall because it is took longer for our corn to mature. When corn hits maturity, it starts to dry down in the fields. Corn needs to be dry so it can be harvested and stored in grain bins. If it is too wet, it can mold and spoil. Luckily, the elevators can artificially dry crops if they have no choice, but it can get very expensive to run dryers and that cost is passed on to the farmer.

On a typical year, we start harvest around October 10th. It always starts out slow as we search for the driest corn around. Usually, by the end of the month, we are cutting around the clock and always have something that’s ready. This year has been completely abnormal. We’ve only cut wet corn and still have several days (if not a week or two) until or next circle of corn will be ready for harvest.

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For now, we wait and hope that the weather stays warm and dry until we are able to get going again. The vast majority of our yearly income is still in the fields and Colby will be extremely nervous until harvest is over. One bad hailstorm or blizzard or bad wind could wreck havoc on our crops (and income)! We will try to stay patient and you better believe lots of prayers will go up over the next few weeks!

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Happy Friday!! I cannot believe another week has already passed. It’s been a busy one and we fit a lot of work and fun into seven days.

284/365: Chopping corn. Today was a very weird (and long) day of cutting corn. We started out early, but it was raining and kept us out of the field. I finally got on the tractor at 2PM after leaving the comfort of my bed at 7AM! We did get a lot done once we got running, but it was still a bit frustrating. Some days (especially in the beginning of harvest) are just like that.

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285/365: Cheese. After a night of rain (1 & 1/2 inches at our house) we were unable to cut. Colby ran errands while I caught up on chores, laundry, and picture editing at home. That night, we went out to eat, watched television and were in bed by 9PM! How was that only a week ago?

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286/365: Dana & Trey. Today, I shot a lovely wedding. I have so many favorites that I just randomly choose two to share here. I will be bloging more on my photography site.

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287/365: Justice. I typically crash pretty hard after a wedding. This time, I couldn’t because I needed to get them edited before I was back on the tractor. Justice, on the other hand, made sure he got a lot of rest for me.

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288/365: Comforts. Today, I edited for about sixteen hours. When I’m stuck at the computer, I like to light a candle to make it seem a little more relaxing. It must have worked, because I somehow finished the entire wedding less than 72 hours after the event. I’m still amazed and doubt I could ever do it again.

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289/365: Back at it. And it’s a good thing I pulled it off, because I was back in the tractor seat by the next afternoon. The ground was a little damp, but we manage to get some corn cut. Every little bit counts right?

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290/365: Night cutting. This was an extremely long day that started at 6:15 and ended after midnight. I decided to try photographing harvest in the pitch black using only headlights as a giant flash. It actually worked out really good and I love this shot!

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Thank you for checking out my daily pictures! I will be back next week.

Nurse Loves Farmer

Read more http://www.nurselovesfarmer.com/2014/10/catch-the-moment-week-39/

Fall Pictures 2014

Two weeks ago, I switched picture sessions with a local photographer- Delrae Ward. She (and her cute little family) came to the farm and we took turns shooting each other. First off, it was a ton of fun! We got to talk shop and impress our husbands when we started muttering things about RAW vs. JPEG and talking about camera settings. Secondly, I LOVE how our pictures turned out! She was happy too and I foresee another swap next year.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the session:

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In the past, we have always just set up a tripod and tried to capture our own yearly picture. Honestly, it’s doable but a total pain and quite stressful. Typically, I’m excited if we have one really good picture to use on our Christmas card and print for our yearly canvas. This year, we have several amazing ones l to choose from! If you are a photographer, I highly recommend finding another photographer and offering to swap sessions!

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Hi everyone! It has been a long wild week and I am actually just sitting down to download and edit my weekly pictures on Friday morning! This week, we actually started harvest; Tomorrow, I’m shooting a beautiful wedding and then next week I will be back on a tractor. Fall is always crazy around here!

Anyway, on to this week’s pictures:

277/365: Fall Pictures. I made best picture decision ever this week and switched sessions with the lovely Delrae Ward Photography. She came out to the farm and shot Colby and I and then I shot her family. Our pictures turned out amazing and I have a ton to choose from this year!

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278/365: Swathing. Last week, Colby spent four long days swathing for a local dairy. I think he was exhausted by the end.

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279/365: Tired farmer. Like I said, poor Colby was exhausted by the time I arrived with his lunch. Poor guy!

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280/365: Favorite snack. Lately, I’ve been eating a lot of trail mix. It’s delicious!

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281/365: It’s harvest time! Today, we started corn harvest. It was an absolutely gorgeous day topped off by an amazing sunset!

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282/365: Chopping corn. Another day, another corn field. Today, we cut for a while before we had to move fields because we were too wet. This happens A LOT in the beginning of the season.

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283/365: Starburst. Today, we started on another circle of corn. It’s so nice to get it out of the field and into the grain bins.

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Thanks for checking out my pictures. I will be back next week with more memories!

 

Alisha - LOVE your shots this week! I live in the city so seeing country/farm life is always a treat!

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] - I am so in love with all your pictures always! I did not know that corn could be swathed! Why do they do that? Also, those gorgeous starbursts make me want to upgrade my camera!

marlathrall - @ Sarah- That’s actually a milo/feed hybrid that he’s swathing, but they can do the same thing with corn. They use it as a silage to feed at the local dairies and feed lots. They apply inoculate and put it in giant piles were it ferments and lasts the whole winter.

The calm before the storm

This time of year is always a little weird for me. October is here and our corn harvest is right around the corner. This is the craziest time of year and I’m both dreading and looking forward to harvest. The hours are long and exhausting, but we finally get to see the results of a years worth of labor. After months of stress and worry, it is nice to get the crop out of the filed and into the grain bins.

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I’m one of those people who require a lot of sleep who values her my time alone. Harvest challenges me in so many different ways. The sleep is always lacking, the hours are long, and sometimes I just want to be at home by myself! I will make it through like I do every year and the end result will be so worth it…

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Tomorrow afternoon we are going to fire up the tractors and combines and (hopefully) officially start our harvest. The chances of the corn actually be dry are slim, but we are all excited just to get things rolling.