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Senior Contributor

What are your harvest tips?

There's been a lot of talk lately about all these potential harvest issues this fall. I was out in the field last week in a corn field where the ears were as soft and flexible as I've ever seen. Sounds like there could be a lot of cobs breaking up and getting in the grain tank this fall. 


So, I thought I'd throw together a few ideas on ways to avoid problems like this running the combine this fall. Here it is: 10 tips for a smoother harvest. 


So, what are some of the things you expect to be doing ahead of running the combine here in a few weeks? Anything different than normal?


Another thing that could be a big deal this year is fire. Here are a few ways you can prevent fires in your fields this fall.


I'm thinking of heading out with a rural fire department here sometime in the next couple of weeks to find out a little more on this topic. Any questions I can relay to them?

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3 Replies
Veteran Contributor

Re: What are your harvest tips?

If we don't get rain, all of my fire equipment is going in the trucks and will be parked at the end of the fields. Just in case. This year has the potential to be explosive with all the dry conditions. It has been a long time since we have had to run on grass fires in the middle of July around here. My advise, blow off combine everyday if not twice a day. Pre-season maintenance is a must this year look over bearings very well and if it looks like it's starting to wear replace it. On the fire end of things, if you do happen to have a fire call 911 and get em' rolling. Next which I have seen numerous times is guys with disks or plows in the fields. These are excellent fire suppression tools, but watch what you do. Don't plow in the active fire or really close to it. Corn stalks will suck up into radiator and if a sparks gets pulled in it will start your tractor on fire. Plowing a line can be dangerous if there is good wind behind it. Plus if you get ahead of the fire smoke more than likely will block out your vision or greatly reduce it and then your in the blind and that is not good. Best bet is get way ahead of the fire and cut a line directly across the field fence to fence. Even though you are going to burn more ground than running around it closely, you will be able to keep from becoming a casualty or worse a fatality. 


Re: What are your harvest tips?

The first poster has great comments. I might only add to the checking of bearings to replace any chains that are worn. A tight chain can heat up and throw sparks or break a link and create a potential fire hazard. Feeder house reversers are great contributors to setting fire as well, so it should be cleaned up and inspected.

Finally, in our state, this year has seen an increase in arson fires. Recently, someone threw out newspapers that were lit and started a major fire. I would not be surprised to hear something like this happening elsewhere. Vigilance by rural people is a good thing as we would be the first to spot strangers driving around

Re: What are your harvest tips?

One more thing... In the interest of safety, it would be a good time to do a walk around the trucks and inspect the tires and brakes for defects or breaks that signals a potential breakdown. My tire supplier suggests the steering tires not exceed more than four years of age. That seems extreme, perhaps. However, last week I narrowly missed being a casualty of a steering tire failure. I thought the tire was in good condition as it had not obvious defects. I now have new tires on my Freightliner.
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