"It's not just a job, it's an adventure."
The slogan was first used for a Navy commercial, but it was an apt response from a fellow farm wife to this post on my Facebook page last Friday afternoon:
It's not a good thing when your trip to the elevator involves a fire extinguisher. However, cool heads prevail over hot brakes.People will sometimes say they are "putting out fires" at work. I don't think there are supposed to be actual flames. We seem to be the exception to that rule.
It started as an attempt to document another aspect of corn harvest. Earlier, I'd ridden along as we took a load of high-moisture corn to the Haw Ranch Feedlot near Turon. We haul the majority of our grain to the Zenith and Stafford branches of the Kanza Co-op, so I wanted to give some equal time to our friends there.
It started innocently enough. I rode along on the combine as Randy cut corn. When the truck was full, we took off for Zenith. On the way, we heard an unusual squeak, but we couldn't figure out the source of the noise, even after peering into the rearview mirrors.
But, when we turned the corner into the Zenith Co-op's drive, a billow of smoke came up. The smoke and the smell followed us all the way to the office, where we parked to have the grain tested and the truck weighed.
You can see the orange probe hovering over the truck. The operator inside the office uses the probe to get a sample of the corn. One of the tests is for moisture. While the feedlot wanted the grain between 24 to 35 percent moisture for grinding, the co-op prefers it at 16 or under. The load is docked if it is above 16 because the co-op then has to dry the grain.
Since we have a smaller truck, we many times dump inside the elevator. However, when we rolled onto the scales with flames, the executive decision was made for us to dump into the pit outside the elevator. Good idea, guys!
The farmer or landlord pays a storage fee based on the amount of time the grain was stored before being sold. Then, it belongs to the co-op. They sell it to entities like feedlots or ethanol plants. Most of it is trucked out of the elevator to the buyer. (In the past, rail travel helped move a lot of grain, too, but most of it is trucked these days, at least in this area.)
Now, back to the brake issue: We parked the truck at the co-op and Jake came and rescued us. Naturally, things like this always seem to happen at inconvenient times. It was late Friday afternoon, and we couldn't get ahold of a mechanic until Monday morning.
We don't know the verdict yet. Thankfully, we are now done cutting corn, but this is the truck we use for holding seed wheat, and we are starting to drill wheat today. We have an auger that attaches to the truck, making it easier to get the wheat from the truck to the drill.
|Wheat drilling - 2011|
More on corn harvest and wheat drilling to come!