Area crops look beautiful in their many shades of green, brown, tan and yellow. It is surprising how much the crops of corn and beans can change in just a matter of days, but then we have to realize it is already the middle of September.
Harvesting has changed since Grandpa’s days, when corn was picked by hand, shoveled by hand into small elevators or directly into corn cribs. Corn was shelled as needed with a hand sheller or by a larger sheller often brought in for the task. Now, it’s hard to remember how things used to be when we see large combines come in and can pick a large field in a short amount of time.
Corn cobs were often used to feed the stove, or the pigs when the corn was still on the cobs. It almost seems impossible when you consider the amount of hand labor that went into farming. How did they manage back in those good old days?
Back then, farmers were less apt to have a stomach “hangover” because of all that exercise they got working on their farms. Only body builders were apt to use a gym for workouts.
Were those the good old days? I bet today’s children would have a hard time believing what hard labor was.
From all reports, it promises to be a good year for the farmers, except of course for the farmer who gets paid by market, not by the amount of money and work he puts into the season, good or bad.
Harvest will soon be underway and that aspect of farming can also be one of the most dangerous occupations out there because of the size and power of the machinery, as well as the circumstances necessary to harvest the crop.
When harvest season rolls around, farmers have to make sure their equipment is in good working order and ready to tackle the task ahead. The farmers also have to make sure they have things ready to protect themselves. They need protective gear in place and in good condition.
Night-time harvesting, even with lights, is more hazardous or course than during daylight. Farmers need to factor in the importance of getting enough rest, as well as working under stressful conditions when time is of an essence.
Grain bins can become a large hazard when moisture in the fall air causes the grain to form a crust or create pockets of air. When things suddenly cause the grain flow to not operate properly, or stop altogether, farmers will go in the grain bin to investigate the problem. If they are not careful, they can easily become the victim of a suction of grain that traps them like quicksand, causing suffocation. We all know we need oxygen to live. Also, if a farmer were to get trapped by a shift of the grain in a bin, it can cause injuries from the intense pressure of the grain on their bodies.
The height of bins, the power behind the augers, as well as electrical lines can all come into dangerous play. Forgetting and not observing they are there would be a tragedy.
Speaking of tragedy, it is hard to figure carbon monoxide. It can become as treacherous in a grain bin as it is in other situations.
We hope our area farmers will be extra careful during this harvest season, as well as hope the people in our area will give the farmers the space they need to get to their big, heavy equipment to their fields and back to the farms safely.
Birthdays and anniversaries:
• Thursday, September 17th: Duane Edwardson, Karen Hemingway Core, Al Routh, Kara Ladlie, Allen Brandt, Sue Tasker, Brock David Routh, Terry & Marlys Van Kampen
• Friday, September 18th: Torsten Wayne, Laura Groth, Carla Scripture, Kevin Christenson, Ron Farr, Chris Larson, Becky Axmann, Laura Davis, Julia Spande, Randy & Cindy Horan, Andrea & Nick Miller, Todd & Mary Wayne, David & Malinda Hanson, Jill & Brian Wolff, Nicholas & Katie Wayne
• Saturday, September, 19th: Vicki Hill Kress, Carol Anderson, David Deml, Ben Cerney, Dan Underland, Kristine Sorenson, Bill Hatch, Jennifer Johnson, Gerald Trandem, Cindy Morris Erickson, Scott & Tracy Tracy, Kelly & David Wacek, Jill & Dustin Johannsen
• Sunday, September 20th: Trinity Starr Wocelka, Jade Hill, Tricia Wayne, Sarah Mills, Cheryl Lonning, Bruce Born, Jennifer Thorn, Jason & Michelle Gordon
• Monday, September 21st: Addie Haugen, Tiffany Shelton, Tim Sorenson, Dan Richards, Ann Hamilton, Margaret Deml, Thomas O'Conner, Pastor Richard Spande, Richard Axmann, Ashley & Anthony Cookas, 2014; Sherri & Chad Fritz, Jodi & Brandon Wayne, Marty & Karen Johnson
• Tuesday, September 22nd: Noah Rasmussen, Lee Nelson, Gary Jenkins, Kaleb Christensen, Diane Stollard, Kathy Underland, Doris DeNeui, Mark & Rachel Lee
• Wednesday, September 23rd: Aiden James Manges, Allison Groth Muilenburg, Melissa Lonning, Sara Cornelius Routh, Kristin Hamberg, Lance Jepson, Theresa Langlie, Debra Harding, James Robertson, Galen Montanye, Elizabeth Lageson, Mark Kasper, Robin Christensen, Judy & Tad Lunning
• Thursday, September 24th: Gilmore Nelson, Nancy Pence, Jayna Domier, Jazmyne Tayton Martinez, Brandon Wayne, Cherysh Christina Hill Marcks, Brody Carlson, Michael Bedney, Trevor David Barber, Jill Vanden Heuvel, Kathie Lein, Susan Mickelson, Sophie Miller, Iris & Stanley Jensen
• Friday, September 25th: Amelia Christine Powers, her fourth; Makayla Jayme Haberman, Travor David Barber, Geraldine Vangen, Tom Lageson, Pan Conklin, Suzanne Enzenauer Skaar, Camerson & Dayna Schember; Kellen & Allison Utpadel, Dwight & Loretta Schewe, Harmony & Ryan Anderson, Amy & Rick Storlie, Wendy & Marty Schultz, Larry & Elaine Peterson
May your special day bring many blessings.