The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.


Greetings to ever one in western Illinois and all readers of The Quill.

I'm a hope'n this column finds ya all good spirits and thankful to be on the sunny side of the sod.

Harvest Time

Harvest continues sporadically throughout our area. Some fantastic yields are be'n reported with moisture levels generally range'n betwixt 22%-28% on the corn.

Occasionally ya hears of a farmer or two with corn drier than 20% and the combines a hitt'n it hard. When it gets over 28% most of the combines quit roll'n.

What few soybeans has been clipped show good yields as well.

Can one suppose all the stew'n and worry'n farmers had in August, about dry weather boosted the yields? One would hate to think that energy used in worry'n was needlessly wasted!

The frequently heard comment spoken around western Illinois is: "Yields are better than expected" and "I don't know where the bushels came from".

Infrequently one hears: "The Lord has certainly blessed us this year". One could suppose we should give credit where credit is due.

One farmer I talked to reported his corn yield on his recently finished harvested 80 acre field at 228.5 bushels per acre number two, 14% corn, all over the scales (not combine monitor).

Then he proceeded to express his disappointment. He said when he planted that field he was shoot'n fer 229 bushels per acres. The results were 1/2 bushel short of his plan!

I was a passenger in a combine recently and observed the yield monitor, which showed a harvest level of 3500 bushel per hour or 58.33 bushels per minute.

In the Good Ole Days, when corn was harvested by hand, a good man could pick 100 bushels per day.

With my good one room school educated, mathematical mind, I quickly figured that in one minute, that farmer with his huge machine, was do'n over one-half days hand harvest work today in one minute.

On a 15 hour typical day, eat'n lunch on the go, haul'n to his own bins, and no breakdowns, that one farmer can harvest over 52,500 bushels corn planted on over 230 acres.

His capital investment in machinery and equipment, to harvest that days work, would be over one million dollars vs. the old days where the farmer owned two horses, a wagon with bang boards, a hand corn peg and two thumbed pair of gloves.

The farmer of days of old could not harvest fer 15 hours cause'n he had morn'n and even'n chores to do.

But if'n he could, it would require 525 days ta do one days work, the huge combine accomplished in one day.

That translates into 5 to 9 years hand harvest work to equal 1 days large combine work.

One can easily see why it is so hard fer farmers in third world countries to compete with the American farmer.

Capital investment, infrastructure, and available days in the harvest year limits their ability to keep up with the Good Ole USA!

Of course, maybe in our area of western Illinois the average size farmer does not have one of those huge sized combine harvest'n machines.

But, if the average farmers machine is one half the size of the one I was on, then he could yet harvest over 25,000 bushels corn per day and the "Third World" farmer would require two or three years hard hand labor to equal it.

Use what ever figure ya wants but, it's hard ta out perform the fantastic American farmer!

Harvest Time Decisions

Some farmer folk are a complain'n on the slowness of this year's corn dry-down progress.

It takes about 30 GDUs to remove one grain moisture point when stand'n field corn is betwixt 30% and 25% moisture with moisture levels betwixt 25% to 30% it takes about 45 GDUs to remove each moisture point.

All of this dry down is limited in cool and wet weather.

The follow'n chart gives ya % moisture loss per day on the average:

Time Period % Moisture Loss Per Day

Mid to late September 3/4-1%

Early to mid October 1/2-3/4%

Late Oct. to mid Nov. 1/4-1/2%

Mid November 0-1/4%

As ya can easily see, that late June planted corn could have a hard go of it dry'n down, this fall, as low as a feller might normally like to have it.

That is of course, unless he planted a relatively short season variety of seed.

Wait'n fer it to dry down if'n ya don't have good stalk quality could cost in field loss more than dry'n cost might be.

Use some math on your own particular situation fer some better thoughts on the matter.

Safety & Young'ns

As ya hurry to get your'n harvesting done, it would be mighty good to take note of some things that was be'n taught at the Warren-Henderson Farm Bureau Safety Day.

Hurry'n gives opportunity for more mistakes, so my advice is to just keep steady at ya work and ya'll get it done. Watch out for them young whipper snappers, too.

Climbing onto a tractor is as natural to farm children as climb'n a tree. Their home is a place to live, work, and play all rolled into one, and fer this reason, life on the farm requires precautions.

Children are most apt to be involved in a farm accident between ages four to fourteen. About 150,000 to 200,000 kids are injured on U.S. farms and ranches each year according to the National Children's Safety Network.

It should be remembered and noted, however, this pales in number when compared to sport injuries for children of the same age group. Ten to 14-year-olds have a particularly high rate of injuries.

Statistics for child accidents indicate that 42% of accidents are caused when children get caught in grain augers; 25% occur in tractor mishaps; 11% are due to power takeoff shaft entanglements; and 6% occur when children become ensnared in conveyor belts.

Kids should:

Well, anyways ya cuts it, be thankful fer your many Bless'ns and allow time to enjoy family and friends, and have a safe harvest.

Take time to attend church this week and reflect on your two choices fer eternity. It's probably a come'n up much quicker than ya might think. Remember-What ever ya are, be a good one!

Keep on Smile'n

Catch ya later