We finished harvesting yesterday! It’s always a bittersweet time for me. The goal is to finish, of course, but I love the process so much that I always hate to see it come to an end.
Beating winter was a challenge this year and I don’t think we won by much. The snow geese flew over last week on their way to warmer climes and the weasel that peeked out of his hole the day before yesterday was pure white. The forecast calls for mixed precipitation on Monday. There are still a few farmers out in the fields so I hope the rain and snow hold off until they too are done. As we look across the countryside, however, most of the land is at rest.
The results this year were varied. The canola was the best crop Louis has seen in his more than 60 years of farming. Combining it was slow going as the swaths were so heavy. Forty bushels an acre is considered a very good yield and we took off about 47, all top grade.
The wheat didn’t fare as well. The early killing frost was hard on it so the quality is low. Much of it will only be good for feed. There was also quite a bit of ergot in this year’s crop. Ergot is a fungus that infects cereal grains, replacing the kernels with small black masses that look like burnt seeds. It seriously lowers the value of the crop.
As I put my farming jeans and my John Deere pocket knife away for another season, I’ll hang onto memories of beautiful sunsets, golden stubble, wildlife sightings and many hours of solitude on the combine. I’ll also cherish the great visits that Louis and I enjoyed as we traveled the swaths together.