Friday, February 3, 2012

Farming Friday

One of my goals for 2011 and for this little old blog is to be a better blogger.  With that in mind, I now dub Fridays as 'Farming Fridays', meaning on Fridays I will be blogging and sharing anything to do with our farming operation, farming follies, and anything to do with farming in general.  So, that be decided, I am going to get started!

The first step is to defoliate the beets.  

Defoliating means to chop the tops off of the beets.

 I am a rookie when it comes to everything sugar beet but I am slowly learning the process, procedure and everything else there that goes along with beets.  I grew up knowing about beet harvesting and all it entails because of where my mother grew up and where all my family lived (which is where I live now) was a big deal. This past fall marks the second year we have grown and harvested sugar beets on our operation. 2 years ago we made the initial decision to give beets a try, and partnered with a neighbor to share equipment and work together.  Things went pretty well, so we jumped in feet first for another year.

Digging Beets on the river bottom.

To fill the trucks, they drive along side the digger in the field.

The 2011 beet harvest went well, except for the fact it was delayed by about 8 days due to rain and weather.  Unlike combining corn or wheat, harvesting beets is very dependent on the weather temperature.  The sugar beet factory  will only accept beets during a certain period of time, and will only open the beets dumps when special criteria is met.  If it's too hot out, no harvesting.  If it's too cold, no harvesting.  Rain makes for delays also.  The sugar beet is a pretty picky plant and all these factors along with ground temperature play a big part in the beet 'setting' its sugar.  The days of beet harvest can be quite stressful on everyone if Mother Nature doesn't cooperate, but we made it through and have decided to give beets another try in 2012.

Waiting on a semi to fill.

We have had two diggers running at once.

Its quite the musical of semis, tractors, diggers and defoliators. 

No comments:

Post a Comment