Why did we start combining nearly a month early this year? Lots of factors play in to this. The drought being the big one. The crops didn’t get a whole lot of rain this year, which will cause them to complete their life cycle much quicker than normal. So this year the crops started to die off faster than last year. Which resulted in an earlier harvest.
After chopping corn silage we typically get into combining soybeans. That’s on a typical year. This year we went straight from chopping corn silage to combining wet corn.
What determines this?
It all really depends on what the moisture level of the corn. There is a significant moisture level difference between wet corn and dry corn. We typically combine wet corn for feed, and we like to be at a moisture level of between 25-32%. For dry corn we want to be at about 13-15% moisture.
The longer a crop sits in the field it’s moisture level continues to drop.
Here is a video I took last year (well, mostly my sister in law took!) of us combining wet corn for feed.
The corn that is coming out of the truck and going through the long pipe looking thing (auger) goes into a tub grinder to get cracked into smaller pieces so it can be packed into the bunker, this gives us easy access for feeding our cattle during the winter. Once we get enough corn for feeding our cattle we either do one of two things 1) Haul the corn to town to the local co-op to sell or 2) Store the corn in bins to sell at a later date.
The corn is hauled from the field by semis and grain trailers and weighed in our scale shed so we know how many pounds (and later converted into bushels) we are getting out of each field and how many pounds we are putting into our bunkers for feed.
This is “wet” corn harvest on our farm!