The one thing about cropping, is as hard as you try, there is always likely to be something that isn’t quite perfect about the grain.
It might rain, and it get stained or worse, begin to sprout. This decreases the quality. Sometimes you might find that the boomspray has had a blocked jet and there’s a few weeds throughout the crop. This means you harvest the weed seeds as well as the grain and is a big no-no for delivery.
That’s where this machine comes in handy. It’s a grain cleaner.
Most of our district is having trouble with ergot in the wheat. Now ergot is a rye grass seed which has a fugus over it and is really, really toxic to animals – like it will kill cattle within hours. It reacts like a ‘speed’ type of drug – hallucinations and so forth. It thins the blood and the animal will die if it eats it.
This is why I’m spending a bit of time, sitting on my bum, cleaning the wheat!
The grain is pumped by auger into the screens of the cleaner. They go round and round and round until you’re dizzy watching them. They manage to, some how, magically pull out all the screenings (grain which is too small for delivery) and the dreaded ergot. If you see this sample I’m holding below, it’s full of all the ergot and screenings.
This one, below is the clean sample and which will be trucked from the farm to the silos. Essentially, we’ve enabled our wheat to go up a grade (which also gives us more money) by cleaning it.
It’s pretty noisy, with three augers running, plus a tractor, plus the cleaner. But it’s a pretty easy job (if you ignore the sparks which shot out the auger last night!) and there isn’t too much which can go wrong.
Oh, did I mention the flies are really friendly? I’m not lonely!
Like I said I’m sitting on my bum a bit. BUT, the good thing about that, is I’m starting to plan my next book and do a little bit of short story writing – something I haven’t done for a long, long time!
What are you up to, today?