Five out of seven days were suitable for fieldwork and harvest. On Monday, we finished nailing up plywood and stapling Tyvec on the gable ends of house as we wait for doors and windows to arrive. We set all the tub and shower units, felted the roof, put fly rafters on and installed the drains and some plumbing. On Tuesday, I started my day out at chiropractor. It was just a maintenance adjustment, as I’ve spent too many days with my body in a twist looking back behind the tractor, so I figured I best head off any potential problems. Later that day, I chopped stalks late into the night and continued again the next morning.
On Wednesday, we had a board meeting for the new board members at St. Joseph County Farm Bureau, where we heard from our president, Sue Kemble, as members shared ideas on the upcoming year. After our board meeting adjourned, we made almost 100 “Take A Break Bags,” which are small brown bags with a bottle of water, apple, jerky, crackers, treats and so much more to be distributed by board members to area farmers across the county as they put in long hours. I think this is a great way for us to give back to friends, neighbors and the farming community.
Thursday morning, I started the day off mowing our fifth cutting of the alfalfa and grass hayfields that I plan to plow down for corn in the spring. Later in the afternoon, we resumed shelling corn with New Idea picker-sheller. By late afternoon, one of the main drive castings crumbled. So, we parked that one and grabbed the backup picker-sheller and continued until dark until the discharge auger slip clutch continued to run.
Friday was an action-packed day that never would have come together without an amazing group of family and friends. Ryan Maenhaut shelled the rest of our narrow-row corn, Jon Monhaut brought a semi and we did our best to keep up as we pulled loaded wagons to Frick Services in Wyatt. It takes longer with tractor and wagons, but we kept the combine moving. I continued raking cornstalks, and Nathan Burch rolled up almost 70 cornstalk bales. Later that night, around midnight, Simon Monhaut came and baled fifth cutting into 3x4x4 large squares. We did ear pick the remaining corn in the low pockets that were on wide rows. I figured they would drown out again, but yielded quite well.
Early Saturday morning around 5:30 am, Dad and I headed back to pickup fifth cutting baleage bales and brought them up to the front along with the cornstalk bales to be wrapped by Jackson Jones. A couple hours later, cold, blustery winds would blast and give us a test of what is to come. Finally on Sunday, we made some repairs, washed up equipment and started putting things away, plus we cleaned the shop. It’s such a relief to have harvest completed, but we still have more stalks to chop and tile repairs to be completed.