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Harvest woes

Agriculture.com Staff 12/01/2009 @ 8:38am

I sure hope the guys finish harvest soon -- I don't know how much more of this I can take.

I'm not doing any of the work myself, you understand, but the pressure on me is almost unbearable.

The biggest problem, as far as I'm concerned, is that all around me everyone is starting work so early in the morning. As I'm lying in bed, I'll see the flicker of headlights in a corn field or hear a tractor pulling through some bean stubble and I have to jump out of bed and race around the house turning on lights. I need to do that just in case a neighbor should glance our way -- I wouldn't want him to think I was lying around while he was working.

It's okay if guys start around 6:00 a.m. I really should be up about that time anyway, but I’m having a little problem deciding where to draw the line. As the weather turns colder and the ground freezes, everyone is trying to get some work in before it thaws in the morning, so I hear equipment running at 5:00 a.m., sometimes even 3:00 a.m., which is TOO EARLY.

I don't think I should get up and turn on the lights at 3:00. If anybody saw that, they'd think I was just getting home from a night of carousing. It's been a long time since I’ve been out until 3:00 a.m. and I'm not sure if I want the neighbors to think that’s what I do on a regular basis.

Another big problem is that I’m falling behind in the story competition. A couple of weeks ago I had coffee with a guy who was telling me about soybean harvesting on his flooded fields.

"Yeah," he said, "we were getting stuck every 200 bushels, so we just left a four wheel drive with a chain at the end of the field. We had to leave the trucks on the road to load and we're starting work at 3:00 a.m. to try and avoid the worst of the mud. We put a $40,000.00 rear wheel assist on the combine, but then, son of a gun, we burned the transmission out."

How do I respond to that? I'm a writer for Pete's sake. I don't have to labor over massive machinery in cold, wet fields. Shoot, I don’t even have to put my shoes on if I don't want to. All I could come up with as a response was, "Yeah, well, last week I spilled some apple cider on my keyboard. Must have taken five, maybe ten minutes to clean up and the keys were sticky for most of the day. I'm okay, though -- at the end of the day I just washed my hands and all the juice came right off."

Things are looking up, a little. The fields still look like World War One trenches, the corn is still wet and what beans are left to harvest have water standing in the rows, but the weather forecast looks like it's going to be cold and dry. Little by little the crop is coming out of the field and into storage.

It'll be such a relief when this harvest is over.

I want to start sleeping in.

Copyright 2009 Brent Olson

I sure hope the guys finish harvest soon -- I don't know how much more of this I can take.

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