captpackrat: (Farm)
Look out! It's coming this way )
captpackrat: (Camera)

Mommy, what are those horsies doing?   (NOT posed, they came like this in the box)

Our new billy goat, Fredric.  He is SOOOO cute!


Soybean harvest with a Case IH 2366 Axial Flow combine.

A few pics

Oct. 11th, 2010 06:33 pm
captpackrat: (Camera)

Is it me, or does this kind of look like one of the rabbit masks from Bioshock?

Get a brain, Morans!

Walmart brand dog food?  It's not so good, actually.

The soy has turned brown.  The farmers can't start the harvest until the soy beans are sufficiently dried.

Center pivot irrigation is fairly rare around here because this area usually gets enough rain for growing corn and soy. 

A long pipe, equipped with sprayers and supported by wheels is connected to a water supply at one end.  An electric motor slowly drives the pipe around the center pivot, watering all the crops in a giant circle.  Some center pivot systems are a quarter mile (400 meters) in length.  You can easily spot center pivot irrigated fields from the air; they appear as giant circles.

Rudolph out for a drive.  The next day I was talking with a Costco employee who mentioned she saw someone driving around with a Rudolph plush in their car.  That was me!  :)

Now it's a party!
captpackrat: (Farm)
The corn harvest has finally ended.  Last year's corn, that is.  There was so much rain last fall that harvest was delayed until December and then near record snowfalls kept the farmers out of the fields until late March.  Apparently losses to wildlife and mold were quite low.  The USDA estimates the 2009 US corn crop to be 13.15 billion bushels.  That's enough corn to cover the island of Manhattan to a depth of 26 feet (7.9 meters)!

The farmers around here have already started planting this year's crops.  Our neighbor was out in the field well after dark.  The lights from his tractor shining through the woods near the house was kind of eerie.

This year the fields around the house will be soybeans.  I like corn years better, since the corn makes a very effective privacy fence.


Dec. 23rd, 2009 08:44 pm
captpackrat: (Farm)
I read this morning that the Nebraska corn harvest is only 93% complete as of Sunday.  December 20th, and 7% of the corn is still in the fields!  And with more snow on the way, it's probably going to be well into January before harvest is complete.  This is the latest corn harvest in 37 years!
captpackrat: (Farm)
Most of the bugs seem to be gone.  The floor of the porch is covered with bug corpses.  Yeesh, what a mess!

It's after midnight here.  I stepped outside just now and the farmer who owns the next field over is still out there with his tractor, harvesting his corn.  I suspect a lot of the farmers around here don't actually own their own equipment (at least, not the BIG stuff like combines) but either rent or have some kind of co-op sharing system.  They get to use the equipment for only so many days, so if they're running behind they must have to work late into the night.

captpackrat: (Camera)

The farmers have started planting their crops. It should be corn, this year. Corn is nice, because it grows so tall, you can't see the house from the road, which means you can go outside naked if you want.

Today's tornado watch was an absolute dud.  We barely even got any rain.  All the thunderstorms were waaaaaaaay off in the distance.

The red, red robins keep bob, bob, bobbin' along.

captpackrat: (Farm)
Harvest time for the fields around the house today; the crop this year was dent corn. It's amazing just how fast these machines work. The combine pulls up the corn, shucks it, strips the kernels, which go into a holding tank, then spits the cob, husk, stalk and leaves out the back. Once the farmer makes a few loops around the field and has a full load, he rendezvous with a large truck, extends a tube, pumps the corn out of the storage tank into the truck, retracts the chute, then starts around the field again, all this in less than one minute. While the farmer continues harvesting, the truck quickly heads to a nearby silo, offloads the corn, then returns just in time to pick up another load.

The result is a field full of straw, leaves and red corn cobs. It almost seems wasteful, all that plant material left behind, but it all gets plowed into the soil for next year's crop.

All that tall corn had given us an extra measure of privacy; now that it's gone, the place feels naked and exposed.

The harvest seems to have freaked out the grasshoppers. They're all acting really odd, almost like they have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or something. You can practically step on them and they won't move. I suppose you'd freak too if a giant machine came along and tore apart your world.

captpackrat: (Farm)
Closeup of an ear of corn.  Most of the corn around here is dent corn (also called field corn), and is nothing like what most people think of when they think of corn (i.e., sweet corn).  Dent corn has a very thick hull, so it's only edible if it is ground into cornmeal or soaked in lye to produce hominy.  Most dent corn is used for animal feed, ethanol production and for making corn syrup.

Fields of corn ready for harvest.  Unlike sweet corn, which is picked while the plant is still green, dent corn must dry out before it can be harvested.

Picture of a barn hidden behind a field of corn.

Not really a harvest picture, but a nice pic of the sun shining through some trees.


Sep. 22nd, 2007 09:32 am
captpackrat: (Camera)

Closeup of a caterpillar.  It's all fuzz, you can't even really tell which end is the head (it's the top).  It wouldn't stay still long enough for me to get a really good photo.

Closeup of a red dragonfly.  This photo turned out really great.  I didn't realize it at the time, but the dragonfly had caught another fly for its supper.  It's clearly visible in this picture.


An antique John Deere tractor and a brand new $250,000 John Deere harvester.  Amazing how technologically advanced these things have gotten.
captpackrat: (Cold Weather)
I was standing outside just now and heard a very large number of canines howling in the distance, far more that you would anticipate for the dogs in the area. There's a good half-mile to a mile between houses, and this was coming from all over the place.

Some quick checking shows that coyotes are native to this region, so I would have to guess that a lot of the howling is from them. I suppose the harvest clears away a lot of the cover that prey use to conceal themselves.

Last night, I was standing on the deck outside and a fairly large animal ran past. There wasn't enough light, but it must have been a rabbit. It certainly wasn't a raccoon as they don't run that fast, it was too small and compact for a deer, and its sort of bounding stride wasn't anything like a predator.
captpackrat: (Hiding in the plants)
It's midnight, and there are still farmers out in their fields harvesting their crops.  You can see the lights from their tractors going back and forth off in the distance.
captpackrat: (Hiding in the plants)
The farmers in the area have started harvesting. The fields surrounding this place were picked clean yesterday. I took some pictures with my good camera, now I just need to develop the film. I hope they came out, my 200mm lens seems to have sustained some damage and wasn't focusing quite right (I had to hold the focus at less than infinity even for distant objects).

I was rather surprised at just how fast they can scoop up a field. They were clearing away about an acre every minute or so.

When I arrived here, this house was surrounded by vast expanses of green soybeans, corn and alfalfa. Now it looks like an atomic bomb went off. There's nothing but devastation as far as the eye can see. The farmers vacuumed up every trace of plantlife in the field, so it looks like a desert. Doesn't help any that the trees are losing their leaves as well. Of course, in a few months, they'll replant the fields, and a few months after that everything will be lush and green again.


captpackrat: (Default)
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