This September is going to be pretty busy month on the Taylor farm in Central Illinois. The late summer/early fall time frame always has us hopping, trying to get ready for harvest, and I wanted to share some of the goings on around our place this month. Enjoy!
The biggest event happening on our farm this September is the assembly of a grain bin. Panel by panel, bolt by bolt, this life-size erector set is coming together under the direction of my husband, Bart. Many friends have lent a hand and a crane has been brought on scene to aid in the awesome undertaking. Picture, if you will, the top portion of the bin being lifted off the ground by the crane as nine guys scramble to attach the legs. Three hours or so later, the crane is able to boom down as the legs are attached and ready to be tied-off so a passing storm doesn’t blow over the work in progress. Many x-braces and over 2,000 tightened bolts later, it will soon be permanently attached to its concrete base and ready for years of use.
2. WE’RE DOING PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE
Not everything on the farm is brand new; in fact, with the exception of the grain bin and the auger attaching the bin to the grain dryer, all of our other equipment is used (some pieces MUCH more than others). And, with so many moving parts on this used equipment, one might think that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. However, many hours this September will be spent trying to prevent the squeak in the first place. Wheels will be greased, tires will be aired, belts will be tightened, oil will be changed, filters will be replaced, and the list goes on. These actions are less costly and oh so much less stressful than an untimely breakdown. And in order for our operation to run like a well-oiled machine, this planned maintenance is essential.
Talking about maintenance, how could I forget to mention sharpening blades? Because of rainfall, the roadsides are going to need to be mowed again this September. Unlike yards that have been mowed weekly or even more often this summer, our roadsides will have been mowed only three times in total. Less about appearance and more about safety, the mowed strips will provide visibly-safe spots for farm equipment to ease over onto when meeting autos and semi drivers will be better able to gauge where to pull alongside to get loaded.
4. WE’RE STOCKING UP ON FUEL
Whether mowing, combining or transporting, it takes fuel. So, another preparedness act in September involves filling the on-farm fuel tanks. The equipment runs on diesel, and lots of it! The combine, for example, holds over 200 gallons at a time, and during full blown harvest, it will need to be filled every day and a half. So, yep, you guessed it… we see a lot of our fuel man throughout harvest, and it all begins with that initial fall fill.
A few of our neighbors have been able to start harvesting their crops this month. However, it will probably be October before we begin. And since I cannot yet pick corn, I promote it. Several times throughout the Broom Corn Parade in Arcola on September 6th, the onlookers burst into applause as the ethanol promoting, E-85 truck rolled by. It could have been because of the cute farmer driving it…LOL… or the fact that I was throwing candy. However, I have to believe folks are simply tired of the expense at the pump and they are excited about a cheaper, locally grown fuel.
Well, since not every day can be a parade, it’s back to work for me… September is a busy month on the farm!