Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

So the past week or so has been all about getting the corn (maize) out of the fields.  I figured that I would share with you a few photos of it…

This is the combine with the head up. The head is the front part of the combine that looks like a demonic comb or fingers. You put the head up when you aren't actually harvesting, like when you are trying to get from one part of the field to another.

Here it is with the head down, ready to start harvesting the corn.

The combine cuts the corn plants off a little under a foot from the soil surface and then "ingests" it eventually separating the corn kernels from everything else, which gets ejected out the back-end of the combine.

There is a lot of organic material left behind the combine. Farmers used to disk this all under every fall but now most leave it on top of the soil as it helps to prevent erosion.

I don't have a lot of chances to get pictures of the combine this time of the year when it's not moving. They had a flat tire, which is why it's in the farm-yard. Here you can see the head clearly. This combine can harvest 6 rows at a time. There are combines that are out right now that can harvest 12 rows at a time. They are HUGE and have to remove their heads before they can go on the road.


This is what it looks like between two of the fingers on the head. You can see the chains with the teeth that grab the cornstalks and drag them in. These are why you don't want to be wandering around out in a field when they are harvesting! (Well, one reason at least!)

This is the hopper where the corn kernels go. It's a lot bigger than it looks in this photo.

A view from the driver's seat.

When the hopper is full, the combine unloads the grain into a truck or wagon. It used to be uncommon to see grain trucks being used but now pretty much everyone uses them as they are much faster than using a tractor and wagons.

Gratuitous cute shot!


5 thoughts on “Harvest

  1. Barbro says:

    Sarah, it looks dangerous!

    1. hortihoney says:

      One of the biggest dangers is fire. There is a lot of very dry combustible material going through a machine. When it is very dry and warm out, like we had a couple of weeks ago, all that nice dry dust and leaves can self-combust and cause serious problems.

  2. Barbro says:

    Something like that happened here a few years ago, but the fire started from an old “field car” (old junk cars the boys learn to drive when they are far too young). I was a bit scared, the fire was quite close to our house but the family found enough water in the ditches to put it out.

  3. Terri Pike says:

    Those pics make me miss living in the Midwest 😦

    1. hortihoney says:

      Don’t worry, I’ll post pictures of the first blizzard too! 🙂

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