As the sun rises any given day in the fall, farmers across Wisconsin are headed to the field. Harvest is a time of anticipation and fulfillment as farmers reap the fruits of their summer-long labor. In this blog, you are able to ride along as we explore the day in the life of a farmer during harvest.
As the light of dawn graces the sky, farmers are busy inspecting machinery, equipment and tools for the day ahead. Tractors and other machinery are greased, inspected and cared for to prepare for the day ahead.
Prior to beginning harvest, farmers must inspect their field to assess crop’s readiness. They check the ripeness, moisture, quality and overall health of the crop to ensure it is at peak quality and ready to come off the field.
Once the sun is in the sky and the dew comes off the field, harvest kicks into high gear. Carefully engineered combines, tractors and other specialized equipment designed to procure crops from the field fire up and hit the mainstage.
The Harvesting Process
For grains like corn and soybeans, the crop is harvested by a combine, a large, versatile machine used for harvesting a variety of grain crops. The combine cuts, separates and disposes of stalk residue onto the field while collecting grains into a holding tank
Once the combine is full, the grain is unloaded through an auger into a grain cart pulled behind a tractor or a semi. The grain is hauled to a storage facility where, if necessary, it is dried before entering storage bins where it stays until it is sold to market. Once sold, the grain is unloaded from the storage bins into semi-trucks and trucked to its proper location.
The harvest process continues throughout the day. Depending on the size of the field, the harvest crew may need to travel to another field. Farmers take many precautions to ensure safe travel on the road, including proper lighting, reflective markers, slow moving vehicle signs, and proper storage of loose tools and additional equipment.
The tractor is a farmer’s office space; just like their fellow commuters headed to work, they understand you have a busy schedule with places to be. That is why it is important to be mindful of one another on the roads during the fall to ensure both you and farmers on the road make it where you are headed in the safest manner.
Depending on the crop, farmers can continue to harvest into the evening. However, for crops like soybeans that are sensitive to moisture, cool temperatures and evening dew can impact the duration of harvest in the evening.
As the harvest crew leaves the field and heads home for dinner with their family, they are able to reflect upon the day’s work with the satisfaction of feeding and serving their community.
A day in the life of a farmer during harvest is a combination of hard work, dedication and a connection to the land. As you gather around the table with your family this month, take time to remember and appreciate the efforts of the unsung heroes in the field this fall.