Oat Harvest 2013, What Goes Around Comes Around

The phrase, “What goes around comes around,” rings especially true on a farm. So does, “You reap what you sow.”Oat Harvest 2013

Harvest, a Family Affair

When we began our oat harvest in April, my first thought was, Here we go again.

My second thought was, Finally a return on our investment.

Harvesting is a family affair. My husband and sons work the equipment, along with two employee truck drivers, while my daughter-in-law and I provide lunch and a steady flow of cold beverages for the crew.

First my husband cuts the crop and places it into rows with the swather.

Oat Harvest

The rows are held together by interlaced straws and supported above the ground by the remaining stubble.

Oat Harvest

Next, son number one chops the oats into smaller pieces and blows it out of a chute into silage trucks with the chopper/harvester.

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Oat Crop 2013

Oat Harvest 2013

The silage trucks dump the oats into a silage pit.

In the background is corn silage left from last harvest. It will serve as a retaining wall for the incoming crop.
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Oat Harvest 2013

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Son number two pushes up and packs the chopped oats with the dozer/tractor.

Oat Harvest 2013

Soon the pile takes shape.

Oat Harvest 2013

 

Oats Converted to Silage

Finally, the silage is covered with white polyethylene plastic and secured with tires for a tight seal. The cover serves as an oxygen barrier as well as protection from the elements.

The silage then undergoes anaerobic fermentation, which starts 48 hours after the silo is filled, and converts sugar into acid. Fermentation is complete after two weeks.

A Never Ending Cycle

Now it’s time to disk the stubble into the soil and prepare the ground for the fall corn crop.

Oat Harvest 2013
The tractor and disk head for the field.

Oat Harvest 2013

 

Soon after, the planting of corn seed begins.

Here we go again. In a never-ending cycle.

My writing also continues in what seems like a never-ending cycle.

So does life.

As always, thanks for stopping by.