Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Ride in a Combine

Today was very special to Wilma and I. Greg arranged with the Tapp family a ride in a combine!
The Tapp family own and operate a very large farming operation. I may be mistaken, but I believe I heard that they plant and harvest around 3000 acres.
The “Tapp Boys” as they are referred to, told us they would be more than happy to let us ride in the combine with them when they start their corn harvest this week. This afternoon was the time they started, and Greg had us at their farm.
Greg with Wilma next to one of several tractors.DSC_3617
We stood back and waited for a signal from Keith in the Combine. It took several short runs to get the Combine set properly for maximum efficiency. When that was accomplished he signaled for Wilma to climb up and get into the cab with him.
Greg looking on as Wilma climbs onto the Combine with Keith the operator.DSC_3633
Wilma getting her first ride in a CombineDSC_3620
While the “New Holland” Combine was working the corn field, another “Tapp Boy” lined up the “John Deere” Combine to connect the proper head and start working.
The John Deere Combine with it’s head being attached.DSC_3629
Both of these machines harvest 8 rows at a time. I was told they are capable of using a head up to 12 rows. As their planter is a 16 row planter, for efficiency they use the 8 row harvester. I don’t understand all the math involved that is used in figuring out which is the most efficient, but the Tapp Boys have it down to a science.
The Combine and Tractor moving in sync while transferring the corn.DSC_3643
The corn being harvested is “Feed Corn”. Even though it looks like the plants are dead and very dry, the corn was registering a “moisture count” of 20. The grainery needs it at 15 or they do not pay top dollar for the product.
If you break any ear in half, there will always be 16 cornels in diameter.DSC_3646
Waiting for the Combine operator to signal when he is full and needs to unload.DSC_3648
View from the Tractors seat.DSC_3651
It’s just amazing to me how massive and powerful these machines really are, and how efficiently they accomplish what they were built to do. Riding in the “Co-Pilot” seat in the Combine gives one a new meaning to what is involved in this type of work. The two computer screens and numerous types of sounds and alarms, makes one feel like your playing a video game. But believe me, this is no game and these men are very serious with their harvest. They told us it will take them about a month to harvest all the crops, working 12 to 16 hour days.
Like Greg said to me, “The TV show where people are gambling don’t really know what gambling is about. The Tapp boys take a real gamble, along with every farmer, each year after planting. They are completely relying on Mother Nature weather they make it or break it.”
My hats off to all the farmers in this great country of ours. This “City Boy” has a very new and appreciated knowledge of just a small part of what they have to do to survive. It’s amazing, just amazing!
A very special “Thank You” goes out to Greg, for arranging this experience for Wilma and I.
And an extra special “Thank You” to the Tapp family for taking the time from their busy schedule, and allowing us to “take a small peak” into their special lives.
Wilma and I will never, ever forget this special day.
Driveway leading up to one of the Tapp farms.DSC_3611

Getting closer to the farm equipmentDSC_3613
Just after the corn harvestDSC_3652
A 2 minute Video of the Harvest from the seat in the Combine.
Wilma in the Tractor, I am taking video in the Combine
Until next time, be safe and God Bless.