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A view of the spreader pulled out from on top of one of our grain bins. Kyle Stackhouse
A view of the spreader pulled out from on top of one of our grain bins. We had to carry it down and disassemble it to replace the electric motor.

Scrambling to finish harvest preparations

Barring weather disruptions harvest will start next week, if not sooner.

Late last week, the grain dryer was inspected and test fired. Everything seemed to be working properly. Inspection revealed a loose bearing which we are going to replace before we start.

All but one of the grain bins is ready to fill. Apparently, we ran out of ambition before the last bin was swept out. We will take advantage of cooler weather this week to finish that job.

Thursday, I climbed up to the top of one of the bins to figure out why the spreader quit working last fall. (The spreader disperses the grain around the bin as it is filled. Spreading helps with storage as any variation in moisture, in the grain or from weeds, is spread out). As the fan blows through the grain, the grain naturally equalizes moisture with the grain near it. This reduces the risk of hot spots where grain can spoil or even catch fire.

I was hoping it was only a bad cord. That seems to be our most common issue; however, I wasn’t that fortunate. I took the lid off the bin and pulled the spreader out through the top. We had to carry it down and disassemble it to replace the electric motor.

Waiting on a combine

We are waiting for the second (but primary) combine to come back from the dealership. We sent it over a couple weeks ago, but it has been waiting in line to get a couple repairs done.

In the meantime, we have been slowly working on the corn head and drapers. Dad and I debated on the condition of the snapping roll knives on the corn head. In the end we decided to let them go and run for another year. If we were to do the rebuild properly, we would be in the project for about $10-$12,000. If corn doesn’t pull down through the head smoothly, we’ll regret the decision and be doing a quick (but expensive) change job in-season.

We did go ahead and change out gathering chains that were not replaced last year. We also had to replace the pan in the center of the head where the ears are pulled into the combine. Wear and tear had left it thin and cracking. We thought it would better to harvest the ears rather than just line them up in the field for deer to eat, LOL!

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 
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