The crops are drying out. They need to. We are hoping to start combining corn soon. When we think back to the rough start of spring and the dry spots of summer, most of the corn crop did surprisingly well!
Before we begin bringing in the crop, proper maintenance MUST be done! Remember when we prepared to plant? It seems we spend more time getting ready than doing the thing we plan to do! It’s kinda like high school prom, where the high schooler spends more time in preparation than at the prom itself. Yep, that’s us. Though we do this because our lives and financial lives depend on this preparation!
Here’s our Combine Preparation To Do List:
- Correct all belt tensions as needed
- Tighten corn head gathering chains and roller chains
- Change engine oil
- Change engine air filters
- Change cab filters
- Wash windows
- Check tire pressure
- Check bearings (there are at least 50 different bearings on this combine)
- Change fuel filters
- Change hydraulic filters
- Blow the radiator out with air
When we switch from corn to beans, there is another To Do List:
- Change the head
- Switch belts on the chopper, which switches the chopper speed to accommodate beans
When is the right time to combine?
When is the right time to combine? There are many variables. We would prefer to combine corn when the moisture level is 20% and the air temperature is 70 degrees. Not this year. Corn stalk conditions are wavering. There are areas near us that have received some stiff winds, resulting in fallen corn.
It’s also apparent that the corn stalks might not hold up the ears of corn. Because of recent rains and the weird wet and then dry growing season, the corn plants have been compromised. We prefer to dry corn in a grain bin as opposed to attempting to combine corn that has fallen in the field. Fallen corn is difficult to combine. The combine operator will have to climb up and down the ladder of the combine to push fallen corn into the machine. Jumping out of a combine to push corn into a corn head is a scary and unsafe business.
Farming is Dangerous!
I don’t know if you know this, but farming remains the most dangerous profession in the United States! We prefer to dry corn in a grain bin instead of attempting to combine corn that has fallen in the field.
As soon as the corn under 30% we will start combining. Corn kernels mature from the outside in. As the kernel reaches maturity, the sugars in the kernel convert to starch and hardens the kernel. When the kernel won’t dent anymore with a fingernail, it will become darker and creates a black layer.
We have a hand held moisture meter to check corn moisture levels, but this sample must be found to be at the proper level, so a trip to the grain elevator is made to make certain the sample is truly under 30%.
As soon as the weather allows, the long days and nights to bring in the crop will begin!
Today’s recipe is Avocado Dressing, a recipe from the 1960’s, long before Keto was a household word. Avocado dressing is great on a taco salad and is an alternative to mayonnaise. This recipe makes almost a pint of dressing and keeps for a good long time. To heck with Avocado Toast!
Tools you’ll need:
Pint jar for storage
½ Cup avocado (1 avocado)
1 T. lemon juice
½ Cup sour cream
1/3 Cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ t. sugar
½ t. chili powder
¼ t. salt
¼ t. Tabasco
Mix in blender. Store in lidded jar. Refrigerate.