Farmer Iron

Post-Harvest Downtime?

With harvest running so far ahead of schedule, you may have time before the snow flies to do some maintenance and planning.

The corn and soybean harvest are moving very fast for the Upper Midwest, which means that a lot of readers may be finished as soon as mid-October. What will you do with that time? No I mean it. This time can be a gift to you.

Sure, many of you will say to fall tillage and fertilizer work, but with temperatures where they are it may be awhile before the soil drops below that magic 50-degree mark. I realize many of you read this but don't comment, so I won't ask for any (though comments are very welcome). But I wonder how you might spend that time?

One post-harvest idea to consider is to slot that combine for a once-over right after harvest when your operation of the machine is still fresh in your mind. Was it running perfectly? Were there problems adjusting the rotor or sieves? Rather than park it and wait until spring you might consider shipping it to the dealer (or having the dealer visit) before you park it for the winter.

Or how about your data? Do you just pack it away until the dead of winter and then start going over it? This potential extra time would be well spent pulling all data from all monitors and getting it downloaded. If you work with an agronomist or other type of consultant, shipping the files early might be welcome news. You'll get more timely analysis and given the kind of year this was…well it might make sense.

I'm sure some of you reading this will say that late-season rains ate up your time - and while those were probably welcome rains I'm sure they did slow you down. But for those of you in areas where the drought has spread and harvest is moving at a solid clip…consider this God-given gift and how you'll use it.

Oh, and there's one other thing you might consider: A vacation. This year you've earned it.

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