Harvest 2014: MCGA Agvocate shares harvest stories and photos

Taylor Broderius

Taylor Broderius

Taylor Broderius attends the University of Minnesota and is a Minnesota Corn Growers Association Agvocate. Taylor grew up on a farm in Hector, Minn., helping his family raise corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and peas.

Every weekend during harvest season, Taylor returns home to the farm to help with harvest. In addition to all the work Taylor puts in on the farm, he will be providing MinnesotaCornerstone.com with stories and photos on how this year’s harvest is going.

If you’re a farmer, it’s a great way to check out how harvest is shaping up for a fellow farmer in a different part of the state. If you’re not a farmer, Taylor’s work will hopefully give you a better understanding of all the work farmers put in during harvest season to provide, safe, healthy and affordable food for a growing world population.

Here is Taylor’s first submission:

Why is this truck sideways?
This picture shows a side dump beet truck unloading 80,000 pounds of beets at the piling site. When you enter the piling site your truck/trailer gets weighed. Then you drive to assigned piler, drive onto the piler, exit the tuck, and unlatch the gates to your trailer. The truck will then be tilted sideways and the beets will fall out. Once your truck is empty, the truck will be tilted back to normal and you can drive off of the beet piler. Lastly, before you leave the piling site you need to weigh your truck/ trailer one last time (with no load). After you are weighed out, you are free to head back to the field for your next load.

Beet truck

Servicing and maintenance
This picture shows my dad, my uncle, and our hired man servicing our beet topper/defoliator. My dad is sharpening the scalper knives on the back of the defoliator with a grinder,  while my uncle and our hired man are running over the scalper knives with a file to smooth out rough areas. He’s also sharpening areas where my dad cannot reach with the grinder. Servicing equipment is something that is done every day. If these tasks are not completed, your machine will not do the job you want it to. Along with that, there is a higher risk for breakdowns on your equipment. We’re really busy during harvest, so the less we have to deal with machinery breakdowns, the better.

Beet topper

Check out this view
This is a picture of me driving the defoliator tractor. Not a bad view from my “office,” right? The defoliator is a piece of equipment that takes the leaves off of the tops of the sugar beets, as well as scalping off the first inch or so of the beet (depth of scalping may vary depending on conditions). We pull our defoliator with a John Deer 8120. We have a 12 row defoliator, which means it defoliates 12 rows at a time.

Defoliating truc

 

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Check back later this week for Taylor’s second Harvest 2014 submission. Rumor has it he’ll providing an 80-foot view of his family’s preparations for corn harvest and storage.

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