The majority of the crops have been harvested during the past two weeks in our area. With a warm spell of 70-degree weather and ideal soil conditions, harvest and tillage progressed rapidly.

As of Nov. 9 we had finished with harvest and all our fall tillage. During the last few days of corn harvest, the moisture on the corn had decreased to about 14.5 percent. It has been a few years since we have seen corn come out of the field that dry. Tillage was good because field conditions were mostly dry and fit. However the chisel plow pulled extremely hard through most of the fields.

First order of business after finishing harvest is to clean and winterize our grain setup. Upon finishing harvest a few more loads of corn were hauled to town to be able to empty the wet bin and dryer. After the dryer is empty a thorough cleaning is performed to help minimize any issues for next year. Next all the auger boxes and sumps are cleaned and all auger bearings are greased. Finally we cover or tarp the auger motors that are on the ground to try to keep as much rain and snow off them as possible. Through the winter we will check the grain in the bins every week or two.

The winter wheat continues to look really good. With the warm weather some wheat that was planted the third week of October has emerged and has turned the field green. We like wheat because it gives some optimism for a new year – something green in the fall as everything else turns brown.

As we finish 2020, the next thing on our list will be to separate heads from the combines, and to clean and service them. We will also start the process of cleaning and servicing our grain trucks to help keep them and the sheds free from rodents.

Thomas Maloney of Whitewater is a sixth-generation farmer who works with his parents and four younger siblings on the family farm. He’s a 2018 University of Wisconsin-Farm and Industry Short Course graduate. The family grows corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, potatoes and other specialty crops as well as feeds out beef, sheep and poultry. The family has been farming near Whitewater since 1840.