August 24, 2009

Harvest is sneaking up fast! The first canola fields are swathed. Some swaths look pretty skimpy. Other fields look quite decent from the road. The yield monitors will tell us the truth (if calibrated right).

Loren Koch is making silage out of canola that was hailed out about six weeks ago. The new growth could make for some good feed. (Photo by Marianne Stamm)

Loren Koch is making silage out of canola that was hailed out about six weeks ago. The new growth could make for some good feed. (Photo by Marianne Stamm)


Robert and I will both help our neighbours again with combining. I’ll be running one of Loren Koch’s John Deere 9600s while Robert gets to run one of Iman Koeman’s John Deere 9860 STS combines, with auto steer and the whole thing. Robert will help Iman for the whole season, starting with swathing.

We did that last harvest season already. We always enjoyed having breakfast together and comparing notes from the day before. It was a new experience for Robert, to be in bed sometimes before I was – or for me, to send him for groceries to town because I was still combining and they were done. When we were farming ourselves, he was always the last off the field.

I asked Loren this morning when he thinks we’ll be starting. “I’ve got some wheat that could be ready early next week,” he said.

Whoa - this truck is full! There's a lot of feed on those swaths. (Photo by Marianne Stamm)

Whoa - this truck is full! There's a lot of feed on those swaths. (Photo by Marianne Stamm)

Wow! I’m not ready for that!

The crop year was quite a bit behind when we came home early in June. It’s caught up a lot through the hot drier summer, and with some good rains in between there will actually be some crop there to harvest.

Loren is silaging our neighbour Clifford Cyre’s canola crop this week. Clifford got a heavy hail on it about a month ago that pretty well stripped the blooms at the time. The crop bloomed again after that but it would never mature by harvest time. Clifford was going to plow it under.

I asked Loren if he thought it would make good feed. “We’re not sure,” he answered. “We’re doing it because it’s cheap and it’s a short feed year.” He says every plant put out six new stems and has small pods now. He figured there should be oil in the pods already.

The green matter should have protein and with some oil for energy, it could make good feed. He’s sending in a sample for feed analysis and will decide then how best to fit it into his feeding rations. I’ll be sure to ask him later how that turned out and let you know.

Mark Feitsma says packing is a bit tricky. The canola is pretty slippery stuff. (Photo by Marianne Stamm)

Mark Feitsma says packing is a bit tricky. The canola is pretty slippery stuff. (Photo by Marianne Stamm)


I went out there tonight and rode a few rounds with one of the truckers. There’s quite a nice canola swath there, lots of tonnage, and an amazing amount of pods considering that the plants were completely bare after the hail.

The silage chopper kept six truckers driving all out the 10 miles to the farm. I think Loren might be getting more feed than he thought!

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