Thursday, 9 August 2012

Harvesting on The Rake

Harvesting on The Rake

It's August and harvest time is here. This evening I heard the sounds of farm machinery in the distance and hurried down the lane to if I could get a picture of a combine harvester at work. I was in luck, Richard Wainright, farm manager, and his colleagues were harvesting corn on The Rake, the field next to Rake's Lane.

The Claas finishes a swathe
Richard told me that harvesting had started late this year because of the wet summer, he grabbed a handful of straw and gave it to me - it was still not completely dry. Meanwhile up on the field the big Claas combine finished cutting a swathe of corn and made a cautious, slow turn, before heading back up the field.

Dry enough to cut?
Richard observed that they were having to take it slowly because the sun had gone -it was late evening - and the corn was getting damp. Once there would have been more time for this job, two combines would have been served by two or three tractors and at lunchtime they would have parked up and eaten lunch together. Now costs have to be kept down and one combine is kept moving continuously, served by two tractors.

Once the corn is cut, oilseed rape will be the next to be harvested, a job made harder by modern varieties of plant. These are short, which maximises yield, but modern, sophisticated harvesters are needed if they are to be cut efficiently.


Waiting for another load
Then Richard had to return to his tractor and trailer - the combine was ready to offload more corn.

All material © Philip Stone 2012

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