Farm Country Grain Harvest

This is a short visual and written effort describing cereal crop harvest on many small, medium and large farms on the northern prairies. Harvest time is a season of stress, anxiety and joy. This is the season when the rewards of a good or bad year become apparent. I have tried to include some simple explanations describing the process.

Farmer Cutting Cereal Crop. A farmer cutting a tangled barley crop with a self-propelled swather (windrower) in south-central Manitoba, Canada early in a bright harvest day. As the day progresses with combines and windrowers on the land, the air becomes progressively more dust filled.

9770 STS John Deere Combines at Work. A very happy farmer in a good crop on a great harvesting day. Note the dust in the air. This is a straight-cut unit.

Grain Unloading On-The-Go. A Case-International combine unloading it’s cargo into a Brent 874 grain wagon pulled by a Case-IH 480 Quadtrac tractor while the combine continues harvesting as evidenced by the straw trash exiting the back of the combine. Unloading on the go saves time on the field. Farmers are anxious to take advantage of every minute the grain is dry enough to combine.

Wheat Harvest Combine & Truck 1. Near Swan Lake, Manitoba, mid-morning a combine being serviced as it sits beside grain trucks in preparation for a days work.

Farmer Cutting Cereal Crop 2. A farmer cutting a barley crop with an International tractor and a Case pull-type swather (windrower) near Holland, Manitoba, Canada during the evening.

Cutting Wheat 1. Back view of a JD swather. The driver appears to be a young farmer probably working on dad’s farm.

John Deere Combine at Work 1. A farmer harvesting a cereal crop with a John Deere 9750 combine. The combine has a straight-cut header which allows him to cut and thresh the crop in one sweep. As it is evening the air is dust filled from a full days harvesting. Beautiful sunsets often accompany dust laden skies on the prairies. Photo taken near Cypress River, Manitoba, Canada in the evening.

Two Cat Lexion Combine 570 R. One of these Caterpillar combines is finishing the last swath on the field while the other races to the next field. In harvest time there is no time to waste. While these are behemoth machines they can seem small when working on a large field of crop. They suddenly seem much larger when faced with the roads and highways.

Grain Hauling. This unit consists of a Case-International four-wheel drive tractor and a large Bourgault grain wagon. Once the last combine leaves the field the grain trailers follow to the next field. If the crop is a different variety the hauler must empty his load before proceeding

Emergency Grain Storage. In a year of bumper crops grain storage can become full. On occasion a farmer will be forced to pile his surplus grain in the field where it is susceptible to ravages of weather and bird predation. This appears to be on a small farm by the look of the equipment. Unfortunately a bumper crop often burdens the farmer with more work producing and delivering a large crop with less profit per bushel.

Case-International Harvest Unit 2. A view of a pull-type combine featuring Case-International units. With pull-type equipment a farmer can cut his machinery purchase costs, however these units are clumsier to operate and require the use of an extra machine on the field. Most farmers prefer the single unit for manoevreability and service time saved. This farmer may have a smaller acreage to work so he uses equipment suitable to his needs. Note the truck at the end of the field.

Grain Storage 2. The grain driver is unloading his truck. There is usually a second truck on the field being loaded which the driver will replace with this one when it is empty.

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