Sunday, September 1, 2013

Week 35/52: Yellow Field Pea Harvest

The grain harvest has finally begun at NoDak Herefords.  With spring planting being late, so too is the harvest.  Brett is a farmer through and through.  He did a majority of the planting, all of the spraying and now is running the combine.  (Hmmm, reminds me of the story of Chicken Little!)   Don't worry, others on the farm have kept quite busy too.  Christopher seems to be a full time rancher.  There are always cattle to check and fences to repair.  He is running here and there all of the time!  Mark has been swathing canola.  I am the "go-fer"  which means I try to help any of the guys when they ask.

I did get a few photos to share with you.

Andy thinks he can drive the big combine.  Brett is not so sure!

Here is a view of the combine.  It is in a field of Yellow Field Peas.  The plants look just like the peas you can grow in a garden.  We wait for them to dry down.  When the peas are hard and dry enough it is time to combine.  The front part of this combine has a special type of header.  It is called a flex head.  A flex head is designed to skim across the ground and be flexible enough to (hopefully) go over any rocks and just "scoop up" the pea plants & pods.  All of this goes through the combine.  The seeds end up in the hopper (holding tank) and the rest gets spat out the back.  If we are lucky, our cattle will get to come into these fields this fall.  They will love to eat the seeds that got away!  Also any green plants that will be there.  This is called "after grazing".
Brett had filled the hopper on the combine with peas so it was time to dump them into the semi.  Once the semi gets full it will be taken to a storage building (grain bin) on our farm.  The peas will stay in storage until we decide it is time to sell them.  Marketing is vital to running a profitable farm and is quite time consuming.  It is one thing that we always need to improve on.  We hope the peas are 'food quality' which means you could end up eating peas raised at NoDak Herefords!


  1. My brother farms with his two sons. They have been planting peas for several years now. Never even heard of doing that years ago.

    1. This was our first year to raise peas. They did yield fairly well but the combining is a challenge. I worry about a big ol' rock going through the combine and wrecking it. All went well.