Thursday, June 16, 2011

Name That Tune

Wheat harvest 2011 has had more stops and starts than a beginning driver learning to operate a stick shift. Yesterday was the first day we didn't have an interruption of some kind. (Believe me, I'm knocking on wood right about now just so I don't jinx today!)

Even though other people in the area had been cutting wheat since last Tuesday (June 7), we didn't find anything dry enough then. My farmer is mighty patient, but it's tough to sit on the sidelines when it seems everyone else is already cutting - even for my down-to-earth optimist.

(No, not everyone else was cutting. But it's like trying to convince your teenager, "No, everyone else's parents are NOT letting their daughter wear a skirt that short!")

We started cutting wheat Friday (June 10). Yields are better than anticipated, though it's definitely not a bumper crop. Test weight was good. Life was good.

Then came the breakdowns:
  • Friday, it was the clean grain auger on the combine.
  • Saturday, it was a combine hydraulic hose. You've heard that oil and water don't mix: Neither do oil and wheat chaff.
  • Sunday, it was 0.70 inch of rain, though no one was complaining about that. The rain will help the milo and give the alfalfa crop and pastures a much-needed moisture boost. It also gave us the chance to go to our niece Emily's confirmation at church in Wichita on Sunday.
  • On Monday, the breakdown was the truck. As Jake was about to pull into the elevator to dump his load of wheat at Zenith, the battery suddenly decided to give out.
  • Tuesday evening, it was the suppertime storm and sprinkle that shut us down for the evening. Great rainbow, but not much precipitation.
I noticed a pattern: The breakdowns appear to happen right about the time I'm delivering supper to the field. I proposed a solution: Maybe I shouldn't deliver suppers anymore. Let's just say that suggestion didn't fly.

In my head, I kept singing the song, "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do." Just change is the words to "Breaking Down Is Hard to Do" and you have the County Line's theme song for harvest so far. I hope we'll be singing another tune soon.

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