As I hoped to, this blog is written to tell about my life in Kansas - now that I have moved from the big city and now that I am again a career artist. Hubster is involved in being "farm help" during harvest each year. I rode along this morning and will take you through the process of "hauling grain to the co-op grain elevator".
Many grain trucks are older heavy duty trucks with the capability of lifting the bed to dump grain out of the tailgate area. Today we are hauling harvested corn.
The Co-ops each have their own set of standards for each crop, for each season. It's mostly based on the moisture content in the grain. Each establishes a "benchmark" (boy, where have I heard that word before??) Today's content in the our corn is 17.9%. Much higher and they won't take it, so harvesting is begun or put on hold, based on that figure. Like yesterday, in the early afternoon this 'corn harvest' was in full swing, but as the day progressed, the moisture content went up, so they stalled for awhile, then got back to it later in the day. The 'combine' dumped it's grain into two trucks for the night and they were kept under a cover til morning when they could get to the elevator...also, some elevators aren't staying open very late yet.
So this was a run of some of that overnight kept corn.
Blurry photo, as I was bouncing around in the cab of the truck. This is the shack where they probe the crop. You drive onto the scales and get a weight while you get a probe. If the moisture is ok, you drive off and onward to dump the grain. (This time of day was not as busy as they CAN be...sometimes, there are lines coming off the highway and then lines waiting for each part of the process.) As you can imagine, this slows down the forward progression of harvesting...as the 'combines' are back in the field, waiting to dump another bin of crop.
This long bed, tractor/trailer is capable of dumping the grain into the grated auger from beneath it's trailer. There are just as many of these as there are the smaller trucks like we are in. The grain is augered into the big round elevators you see in the background. Sometimes the elevators make a lot of noise, they turn on fans at the bottom of the elevator to help dry the grain a little more. Eventually the grain moves on by truck or traincars - imagine how many things are made with corn.
As we drive onto the grated area, the co-op worker opens the doors on the back of the gate, it falls for a little bit and then the worker tells the driver to lift the bed. This let's the grain fall and empty.
There seems to be a little more precision to this, than meets the eye.
We have turned around and are headed back to the scales to weigh the empty truck. Someone does some math, I believe...