28 October 2019

Harvest time

My weekly drive to the local Target takes me past cornfields and soybean fields.  This time of year I'm always fascinated to see how the harvest is done, with equipment that not only reaps the beans and corn, but mulches the stubble and spreads it back on the field.  In my grandfather's time the broken cornstalks would have been left standing through the winter, then plowed under during the spring cultivation.  Not much cover left nowadays for pheasants and other wildlife.

One of the Photos of the Week in the recent Atlantic was this image taken in a Chinese sorghum field:

The same essential process - "harvesters, stubble choppers, and soil preparation machines" - deployed on an industrial scale.


  1. What I think about when viewing such scenes...


    1. I see that at some dairy farms in Vermont - huge shed barns full of cows that never go out. The surrounding fields are used for disposing of the manure by spraying. Hay or corn are then grown, both of which are harvested as silage. The round bales are usually stored in long white plastic tubes. If the silage is chopped, then it may be dumped in piles that form a protective crust.


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