We joke at our house every once in awhile about having a file called, “And you think you’ve got it bad.” It’s for those occasional stories that make you feel just a little better about your problems – potty training, wet harvest, 4-H pigs, you name it.
Well, after talking with Tremont farmer and Precision Planting founder Gregg Sauder, I’ve got a new one for that file. Sauder farms ground in the Mackinaw River bottom, and after getting seven inches of rain in a single week this fall, he started doing some levee math. It wasn’t working out in his favor.
The last three inches fell on a Friday. He and his crew moved in that night with a tracked combine, tracked tractor and tracked auger wagon. They convinced the elevator to stay open and combined all night long – even through 16 inches of standing water in some places.
“The combine itself would run through standing water,” Sauder says, sounding as amazed now as he likely was that night. “The auger wagon would get stuck, but I’ve got a whole new respect for tracks!”
“You don’t ever want to test your equipment to that limit, but sometimes there are exceptions,” Sauder concludes. Apparently so. They finished on Saturday morning, and the river came over the levee Sunday morning.
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