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Wind makes for challenging cane harvest
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Wind makes for challenging cane harvest

Bagging silage

Krista Podany and Carl Dobias of Verdigre, Neb., work to bag corn silage. They run a custom silage and haying business in addition to raising their own crops and livestock.

Hello from our little part of the Bohemian Alps west of Verdigre, Nebraska. We have had a little rain, nothing very measurable, just a few misty days.

On the days we are not in the field, the guys are in the shop, sharpening chopper blades, adjusting the shear bar or fixing tires.

This week my ol’ “Virginia “ truck decided on the third load of the day she needed a rest. The pump on the hydraulics raised up two feet and stopped. Grrr. In all the years I have driven this truck I’ve had few problems. I really dislike being the one to mess up the cut-chop-load-and-dump flow.

Thankfully we had the “dinner bell” white Ford with us so I could finish the day. (I call the white Ford the “dinner bell “because it has a back-up dinger on the rear tire, not to be confused with the signal that I have noon dinner ready.)

We had a change from corn to cane. The wind had smashed the cane crop to the ground, so we had to get in with a windrower first and then we could chop, load and dump. The tonnage was fairly good, but we might have to put up a fence and graze some cows to get up the rest.

There was a lot of action around the entire field that day. Finding parts for the Virginia truck has proved to be a challenge. There aren’t many hydro pumps around for the 1987 International. Carl was on the computer at night and calling salvage yards. Lo and behold, a pump has been located! Now to find a day to get it changed out.

We also use the Virginia truck to pull the Roto bagger around. We had to do a couple of jobs short a truck, which makes for wait time for the chopper.

My hand in the kitchen canning tomatoes has been frustrating. I still have problems with lids sealing correctly, which is sort of sad after all the work it is to can. I have talked to several canners this year with some of these issues also. Good thing I had room in the freezer. But that also is scary, as we lost an entire beef and lots of chickens when a freezer quit mid-summer.

The weather still is changing daily, and the chill sure sets in after the sunset. I have been able to see the ponds and creeks steaming and early fog at night. With the weather changes it sure makes for beautiful leaves and all the other fall colors.

My sunflowers are done blooming way too early. The yields have been varied, depending on the soil of the field. Some of the corn stalks are hip-high and making a little ear. It cuts, but the tonnage is low.

Now we are talking about that nasty word, frost. Boo! Hiss! We’re waiting for the freeze to come before we cut some cane in several fields. When ol’ Mr. Frost hits it will be scurry and hurry to get it bagged.

I am very thankful for our family of harvesters. Carl runs the chopper, brother Tony runs the “J “truck, I run the Virginia, son Travis or brother Gene run the Dinner Bell, son Kyle runs the bagger or drives truck, grandson Bo is chief advisor along with his little sister, Virginia. The coolers are packed with noon dinner, afternoon snacks and maybe supper sandwiches when we run until sunset, which arrives more quickly every day. (Note to self, always check coolers for melted ice and don’t put your phone in the bag when loading. The phone does work under water. It’s still drying out in rice. I guess a trip to town to the cell store is in order.)

This week’s work brings windrowing, raking and baling the last of the grasslands. There is a chance of rain. We pray it comes, but around here you never know if the weather person knows their stuff.

We are pleased we are getting more bales than expected for this drought year. We’re not done baling yet, so we will see what the yield will be.

The pheasants are flying, and we have been dressing out a few. Four of the older, giggling granddaughters were here over the weekend. The teenagers are a very interest lot. If you have been around teenagers you, understand.

Cows are being worked in between. A few will get an early morning or late night ride to the livestock market.

Praying every one continues to have a safe and bountiful harvest. Enjoy fabulous fall day and every day.

Midwest Messenger Weekly Update

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