Monday, November 01, 2004

Harvest Help

There's a chance that what I said could never happen, is happening.
The average year may be upon us here in Eastern Nebraska. The high's and low's on the soybean yield were gone. Instead of a normal year of some 30 bushels per acre in the 'too' wet areas to near 55 on the best ground. The least this year was 40 and the best went 44. Half of these had substantial hail damage. These were complete farm averages. All in all, above average is better.
The corn isn't all harvested yet. But the yields have been exceptional. The threat of high prices went out like a wet diaper in a burn barrel. I was smart enough to sell 4500 bushels for Nov. delivery but dumb enough to not sell 45000.
When the dust has settled and we take the yearly money snapshot called the Financial Statement, it will doubtless prove my "Cliff Morrow- Good Year Theory" which says that it's the Bushels, not the price. In years of low production and thus high prices, there never seems to be quite enough to make the annual payments. But above average bushels will usually work out.
My Brother who usually runs the combine, had some trouble with complications from medical tests. He has missed much of the season but his prognosis is good for a full recovery. Good news! Another Brother from Omaha has been running the combine and doing a great job. Good news! A friend from Denver came and spent a week helping me with harvest. He came here, a Dutch Oven specialist, and added auger wagon operator to his list of proficiencies. Ralph is a forrester from Colorado and I owe him big. Since he went back home we have missed him on the harvest crew but we really hated to see those dutch oven beef and noodles go down the road. Oh yeah, and the peach cobbler made with his home-canned Colorado peaches.
We had help from Denver one weekend from Marilyns cousin and her husband Bob. He ran auger operations one whole day and enabled us to pile up a lot of corn in a short period of time. He has been in the oil field equipment sales most of his life and is extremely interesting to talk to as well as quick at picking up farming activities.
My nephew from Indiana was scheduled to come help but was needed at home that weekend. That would have been a lot of fun for the old timers on this crew.
My son from Lincoln was able to help a couple of weekends and always seems to know exactly what to do. He's handy because there is nothing he can't do on the farm. Including fixing machinery and climbing grain bins.
The fall in Nebraska is why people live here. It's like having a new born in the family and a couple of years later, having another child. This is exactly what your wife swore she wouldn't do, ever again, just 2 years earlier.
We've gone thru Winter and Summer in Nebraska since last harvest. But the cool dry air, great harvest, football season, the harvest moon, pumpkins or something, has intoxicated our senses to the point that we can't remember standing on the number 6 green in early August, and putting, while the sweat runs in our eyes, and saying "you guys really want to play the last 3 holes?" I can't remember my wife calling and politely asking if I could come up the lane a ways and put the fan belt back on. The last snow drift she hit ran it off. "But it's 5 below and windy, what, okay I'll be right up." The Fall weather is that good here.
Having been through about 40 harvests, I've seen it all, from not having enough bushels to better than average like this year. But all in all, it keeps my interest because of the people you deal with. Friends, neighbors, brothers, and family. All with good senses of humor. We laugh, we talk, we tell old harvest stories, and pick a little corn.
I guess it's not the bushels, it's the people. And the weather.


Anonymous said...


Don't really know how much help I was but I had great time trying.

Ralph Campbell

Anonymous said...

You make me homesick!!..Okie Sis