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Why has the farmer got his combine harvester out now?

47 replies

Allmyarseandpeggymartin · 12/09/2020 22:04

Not a euphemism!

The farmer who looks after the field behind our house is out quite happily in his combine harvester merrily going up and down the fields with huge spotlights at the front and back of the tractor. It’s pitch black.

I did a quick google as to why this might be which suggested getting the harvest in before a storm but It’s been lovely today and fine weather is forecast.

Any ideas Mumsnetters?

OP posts:
firsttimemumma123 · 12/09/2020 22:06

Because harvest is late as it is due to the on/off weather in August and they need to get it done so it can get baled, cultivated and then drilled with the next crop

gamerchick · 12/09/2020 22:07

Is it wheat? I think it has to be harvested quickly doesn't it? Not clued up on farming though.

AlwaysLatte · 12/09/2020 22:08

Why not?

cretelover · 12/09/2020 22:08

Yes there may be a lot to cut still so he'll be getting it done as quickly as possible so he can move onto the next field/farm

OutOfDateAppleCrumble · 12/09/2020 22:09

We’re set for a week of good weather, he wants to get as much done as possible!

TonTonMacoute · 12/09/2020 22:09

Could be a contractor and this is the only time he could get to do the work.

IzzyGee · 12/09/2020 22:10

If the crop is dry and ready why would he not harvest now? Most people know farming isn’t 9-5

IKEA888 · 12/09/2020 22:10

Will probably be a contractor and have a lot of work on to for in a. Short period of time

Allmyarseandpeggymartin · 12/09/2020 22:10

This is going to make me sound like a farming dumbass but does the crop have to be dry to harvest it?

So could he have waited a few days for dry weather and now he’s cracking on as much as poss?

OP posts:
FishPalace · 12/09/2020 22:11

Entirely normal to be cutting this late at this time of year around here.

Allmyarseandpeggymartin · 12/09/2020 22:12

I’m not arsed about him doing it now btw - it just intrigued me that it must be harder to do in the dark

OP posts:
beautifulxdisasters · 12/09/2020 22:13

Normal round here in August and early Sept. Did you live in this house this time last year?

TonTonMacoute · 12/09/2020 22:13

does the crop have to be dry to harvest it?

Yes, pretty much or it will rot.

BlackPuddingEggs · 12/09/2020 22:14

They cut until it gets damp from dew I think. Some nights it used to go beyond midnight where we lived before. I rather liked watching the giant machines trundling across fields with enormous lights.

Allmyarseandpeggymartin · 12/09/2020 22:14

@beautifulxdisasters I’ve lived here for 7 years Blush

Not noticed Saturday night farmer before

OP posts:
TonTonMacoute · 12/09/2020 22:15

It makes me feel quite humble hearing them working so late - it’s Saturday night FFS!

Shouldbedoing · 12/09/2020 22:15

He's making hay while the sun shines.

firsttimemumma123 · 12/09/2020 22:16

And grain buyers will only buy it if below a certain moisture level, so if too wet you have to pay for it to be dried

BillywilliamV · 12/09/2020 22:17

It’s probably not his harvester, they belong to contractors who move from farm to farm and they will work as many hours as they can to get all the work done,

Shouldbedoing · 12/09/2020 22:17

Some of the combines have GPS type systems for going in straight lines up and down the field.

Nacreous · 12/09/2020 22:17

Farmers round here would usually be harvesting until the dew got too thick, so not usually much after 10-11 at this time of year.

You can dry wheat but it's very expensive because it uses a lot of energy. Hence they try and havest when it's dry. Additionally, if you get a heavy storm once it's ripe it makes the heads heavier and you can have whole chunks which fall over and then spoil and can't be harvested so they will want to harvest as much as they can before there's any more rain.

AgeLikeWine · 12/09/2020 22:17

Yes, the crop needs to be dry to harvest it. ‘Make hay while the sun shines’. When the grain is ready, the farmer wants to get it harvested and into the silos ASAP. There is nothing to be gained by waiting longer.

As PP said, the actual harvesting may be done by contractors who will be working flat out & round the clock at this time of year.


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TheOrigBrave · 12/09/2020 22:19

It's quite normal to see night harvesting where I live and the rumble of tractors through the village really late.
I often go for a walk around the fields at 11pm or later and see them working.

Allmyarseandpeggymartin · 12/09/2020 22:19

“Some of the combines have GPS type systems for going in straight lines up and down the field”

That’s amazing - sat nav for a field!

OP posts:
Topseyt · 12/09/2020 22:25

Yes, the crop has to be dry to dry to cut.

If it is wet then it will not cut properly as it will tend to lie down too flat. Also, if baked or stored while wet it is more likely to rot.

So during dry weather spells they will work hard to get it all cut, often cutting late into the night using powerful lights. Anything they have to do to get the job done.

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