October 16, 2021

From the Fields: Red flag warning

What a warm week! We had one day of fall, then right back to summer. All week the temperatures were back in the upper 80s to lower 90s. A few rains passed through the region Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday. At our place we had about 0.3″ altogether. We watched the lightning show to the north and south of us while we were combining beans Saturday evening. Friday evening we had only a couple of minutes of rain, enough to add a little moisture to the beans we are combining, but not keep us out of the field Saturday after the sun had been out for a couple of hours. The rain Saturday night and Sunday morning did keep us out of the field on Sunday. It was a needed break and downtime after running hard every day through chopping corn silage, then combining corn and beans for a week and a half.

Corn and beans are both dry coming from the fields. Bean moistures have been in the 8.5% to 12% range and yields have been running about average. Corn has been running 16% to 25% moisture and yields vary greatly depending on location, plant date, variety and rainfall for the area.

Unfortunately, there have been a number of combine, field, and chopper fires in the area this week. Please take the extra time to look over equipment closely at bearings and places that could get extra hot while in operation. Also take time to keep machinery as dust free as possible so there is less flammable material to catch fire.

I have been taking our Milwaukee brushless battery powered blower with me and cleaning the combine off daily or more. I have a friend that lost a combine in the past and was told the engine powered blowers can throw sparks and will smolder and start fires. They were told they thought that is what caught their combine on fire. Sparks flew when they blew the combine off in the evening and were smoldering in a place, not fully cleaned off and caught fire 30 minutes or so after everyone had left the field. Taking a few extra minutes to keep everything cleaner could save from a big loss.

Kim Meier

Kim Meier

Ridott, Ill.