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Ken Ryan

windrow wheat

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My neighbor asked me why our Canadian friends frequently cut, windrow and then combine later with a pull behind combine. I told him I didn't know. Ken Ryan

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the growing season are either to short or crazy so by swathing and putting in a windrow allows to dry down faster and get all the green kernels out, usually cut at hard dough stage and if weather cooperates you can be combining 3-4 days later, swathing is not done much any more farms are to big, a lot of wheat is sprayed with a lite dose of round up if fast dry down is needed 

still see canola swathed yet that crop can has a lot of different stages in it and is fragile when ripe it will shell out, there's newer variety's that are pod shatter resistance to help with holding together long enough to straight cut

 

hope this helps 

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Pull type combines pretty disappeared by the mid 90’s.  As a teenager I pulled White 8650 around the fields.  It went down the road in 1993.  There might be a few in use still out here,  likely take awhile to find being used thou.  Mostly in the bush or wrecking yards.  

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Not as much swathing wheat as there used to be. Newer varieties maybe. Better weed control, some of the factors that might be why straight cutting wheat is more common now. I straight cut my wheat most years starting first week of September generally. No dessicating for me. And I suspect there might be less of it in the future when the consumer finds out how close to harvest that glyphosate is being applied to the crop. 

You won't see many pull type combines working here either. 30 years ago they were very popular. I still put a few acres through my JD 7721 pull type every year. Its a good backup for when the IH breaks down. 

I might make  a round with the swather on my earliest canola tomorrow as it looks close to ready.

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We’ll likely save our wheat for seed this year or at least try so that’s one reason we will swath it. Dry down times with spraying are usually longer then swathing so that’s another reason we will swath it.  If the weather cooperates as wheatking said you can combine it very quickly. Lately you can’t count the harvest season much past the end of September so the earlier you can get it off the better. The bad part is if you swath it and get rain it tends to hold a grade better if it’s standing. 

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27 minutes ago, Loadstar said:

 And I suspect there might be less of it in the future when the consumer finds out how close to harvest that glyphosate is being applied to the crop. 

I think your right.  They have just about got the public believing round up treated products are unsafe, no matter what the facts are.  

 

Most recently they have started to pursue the results of the antibiotic properties of glyphosate and its effect on honey bee digestive system, and is that hurting the bees?

 

i can’t see glyphosate being on the market many more decades

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1 hour ago, poor farmer/logger said:

We’ll likely save our wheat for seed this year or at least try so that’s one reason we will swath it. Dry down times with spraying are usually longer then swathing so that’s another reason we will swath it.  If the weather cooperates as wheatking said you can combine it very quickly. Lately you can’t count the harvest season much past the end of September so the earlier you can get it off the better. The bad part is if you swath it and get rain it tends to hold a grade better if it’s standing. 

I really wonder how well the wheat swaths will stay up on the stubble in the fields that were planted with 12 inch spacing drills. Probably ok as long as it is a good thick and heavy crop. 

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It does get to be a bit more of a issue I think. Swath across and not with and hope you get it picked up before it snows on it lol. My brother inlaw is all on 12” spacing. Says it’s better for disease.  He doesn’t swath a lot any more though. Even a lot of his canola he straight cuts. He’s another hour south of us though too. 

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Swathing was very popular around here and throughout MT for awhile.  Reasons we swathed was typically back then guys just didn't start seeding until May which meant harvest ran late on some years.  Also another big reason why is some varieties of wheat would shell out when fully ripe and sawflies.  We swathed consistently from the 50s up into the 90s.  But its a practice you seldom see anymore because it adds more expense to the crop, we have better varieties that don't shell out and ripen sooner and we just have better farming practices.  Plus there is always the risk of getting swaths rained on and ruining the crop.  Also, the post WW II modern pull type combines never took hold here.  Yet you go 10 miles north of me into Canada you start seeing pull type combines.  I always thought it was a Canadian thing although I've heard they were popular in the Dakotas too. 

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Swathing small grain and then picking it up to combine was pretty much the norm for small grain in SD until the 1980s or so.

Swathing was done to ripen up the crop and also to let the green weeds dry down so they would go through the combine without slugging/plugging it. You have to remember back then all our small grains were planted in the spring at that time...the grain and the weeds started growing all at the same time. Also, about the only "chemical of choice" back then was aerial application of 2,4,D or some derivative of it. Aerial application was expensive...much cheaper to windrow the grain and pick it up later after a few days of drying in the windrow.

Direct/straight-cutting of grain become common in the 1980s. Once heartier varieties of winter wheat that could survive our harsh winters were developed, winter wheat became a more common crop here. With winter wheat, the wheat could get a head start on the weeds, making it much easier to straight-cut without a lot of green weeds to bother. After the late 1980s, spraying became more commonplace and straight-cutting became the norm. Better weed control and the fact that you were eliminating one more job in the field made windrowing/picking up much less common. We still have some crops that are windrowed/picked up around here...mainly oats and millet.

As far as pull-type combines, yes they were common in SD up to the mid-80s or so. IH 914s were probably the most plentiful IH combine in SD until the Axial-Flows came along. 8/915s were pretty rare, 715s and 403s were probably the most plentiful SP IH combines around, but by that time they were becoming too small for most farmers. 

As far as the idea behind PT combines in that time, it was all about marketing. The farmer usually had a big tractor that wasn't being used at harvest time...so the companies developed PT combines that were based upon the companies' largest SP combines. The PT combine was designed to offer that farmer big harvesting capacity without maintaining another drivetrain(engine, cab, transmission, etc) that would be necessary with an SP combine....and give him another use for that big tractor that wasn't in use at the time.

Around the mid-1980s, farming changed in many areas of SD away from small-grain to more row-crop. This made the SP combine more desirable and brought the PT combine to the end of its run around here.

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On 8/19/2019 at 9:08 PM, AKwelder said:

I think your right.  They have just about got the public believing round up treated products are unsafe, no matter what the facts are.  

 

Most recently they have started to pursue the results of the antibiotic properties of glyphosate and its effect on honey bee digestive system, and is that hurting the bees?

 

i can’t see glyphosate being on the market many more decades

Co-incidentally, this showed up in my news this morning. General Mills does not want glyphosate on their oats pre harvest. https://www.producer.com/2019/08/major-food-processor-wants-reduction-in-pesticide-use/?utm_source=Western+Producer&utm_campaign=61f5a2d94a-Producer+Daily+-+2019-08-21&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a5b062b4c9-61f5a2d94a-87636485 

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1 hour ago, Loadstar said:

Interesting, and I think it will be more common in the years to come

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One grain buyer we deal with asks if oats have been treated with glyphosate prior to harvest. They sell to a baby food processor so they have higher standards. They bin non treated oats separately for them. They still but anything sprayed as of yet but standards could very well be tightening up. 

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That is where swathing worked great. Oats  and barley you could cut green a bit and 4 days later it was ready to go. With modern swathers now it would be fun. The versatile 400 we had made me hate swathers.

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I don't  miss the sloppy steering and the hydro whine. The engine fan blowing on you all day was another important feature to forget. I went from the 400 to a JD 2270, then 2280 with AC cabs. That was livin'.

There used to be a lot of lentils and peas swathed in the PNW but that pretty much has gone to direct cutting with big flex headers. Just one less thing to do plus you don't have to go looking for them after a wind storm.

Jim, how were wheat yields around Hand county?? I was there 4th of July and looked like good straw.

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1 hour ago, dale560 said:

That is where swathing worked great. Oats  and barley you could cut green a bit and 4 days later it was ready to go. With modern swathers now it would be fun. The versatile 400 we had made me hate swathers.

Harvest usually starts around here in August when it’s still hot out.  The saying’ goes you can swath and cut it 4 days later or just wait 4 days and cut it.  A lot of barley was swathed around here because of shatter.

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3 minutes ago, Big Bud guy said:

Harvest usually starts around here in August when it’s still hot out.  The saying’ goes you can swath and cut it 4 days later or just wait 4 days and cut it.  A lot of barley was swathed around here because of shatter.

That was the thing here to oats and barley plus wheat can shell

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On 8/20/2019 at 2:36 PM, SDman said:

Swathing small grain and then picking it up to combine was pretty much the norm for small grain in SD until the 1980s or so.

Swathing was done to ripen up the crop and also to let the green weeds dry down so they would go through the combine without slugging/plugging it. You have to remember back then all our small grains were planted in the spring at that time...the grain and the weeds started growing all at the same time. Also, about the only "chemical of choice" back then was aerial application of 2,4,D or some derivative of it. Aerial application was expensive...much cheaper to windrow the grain and pick it up later after a few days of drying in the windrow.

Direct/straight-cutting of grain become common in the 1980s. Once heartier varieties of winter wheat that could survive our harsh winters were developed, winter wheat became a more common crop here. With winter wheat, the wheat could get a head start on the weeds, making it much easier to straight-cut without a lot of green weeds to bother. After the late 1980s, spraying became more commonplace and straight-cutting became the norm. Better weed control and the fact that you were eliminating one more job in the field made windrowing/picking up much less common. We still have some crops that are windrowed/picked up around here...mainly oats and millet.

As far as pull-type combines, yes they were common in SD up to the mid-80s or so. IH 914s were probably the most plentiful IH combine in SD until the Axial-Flows came along. 8/915s were pretty rare, 715s and 403s were probably the most plentiful SP IH combines around, but by that time they were becoming too small for most farmers. 

As far as the idea behind PT combines in that time, it was all about marketing. The farmer usually had a big tractor that wasn't being used at harvest time...so the companies developed PT combines that were based upon the companies' largest SP combines. The PT combine was designed to offer that farmer big harvesting capacity without maintaining another drivetrain(engine, cab, transmission, etc) that would be necessary with an SP combine....and give him another use for that big tractor that wasn't in use at the time.

Around the mid-1980s, farming changed in many areas of SD away from small-grain to more row-crop. This made the SP combine more desirable and brought the PT combine to the end of its run around here.

When I sent a season (1973) with a custom crew I ask about that. When we started out in OK we straight cut wheat. Did that in KS and NE too. When we hit SD we put pickups on the combines and the farmer windrowed the wheat and then we combined. So why the change? Boss told me basically the same thing. Difference between spring and winter wheat.

Rick

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Pretty much all the barley around here is swathed yet. Most guys are done or picking it up now. Still a few guys that swath wheat as well. If the weather is nice you can get about a week jump on combining if the wheat is swathed. But with the way the weather is now I think you're better off leaving it standing. We haven't left wheat in a swath for probably 15 years. Always just swathed right in front of the pull type combine. And we dont dessicate anything either. Not even flax. Now with a sp combine a straight cut header its alot nicer, but if we have enough people around we still run the 1682 behind the 4000 IH picking up swaths

As for pull type combines, they were cheap. I dont know of very many still using them though. Lots sitting as a spare. We run a 1682 all harvest and have a 1482 ready to roll. And a 914 that we always used for a bit of wheat so we could bale straw. And we got parts machines so parts are inexpensive and in the yard

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17 hours ago, Bleedinred said:

 

Jim, how were wheat yields around Hand county?? I was there 4th of July and looked like good straw.

What WW that has been combined has had yields of 75-80 bpa or so. 

Unfortunately, not much has been combined for 2 weeks or so due to a lot of rain lately. 6-10” or so in some places around here in the last 2-3 weeks. What’s still out in the field will probably be discounted due to quality issues. Never thought I’d ever see WW harvested in September around here in my life, but it may just happen this year. 

 

67C8C6AD-094E-4CB2-B513-2A72AF54FCBA.jpeg

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On 8/21/2019 at 4:35 PM, db1486 said:

Pretty much all the barley around here is swathed yet. Most guys are done or picking it up now. Still a few guys that swath wheat as well. If the weather is nice you can get about a week jump on combining if the wheat is swathed. But with the way the weather is now I think you're better off leaving it standing. We haven't left wheat in a swath for probably 15 years. Always just swathed right in front of the pull type combine. And we dont dessicate anything either. Not even flax. Now with a sp combine a straight cut header its alot nicer, but if we have enough people around we still run the 1682 behind the 4000 IH picking up swaths

As for pull type combines, they were cheap. I dont know of very many still using them though. Lots sitting as a spare. We run a 1682 all harvest and have a 1482 ready to roll. And a 914 that we always used for a bit of wheat so we could bale straw. And we got parts machines so parts are inexpensive and in the yard

Not much for pull types around here anymore either, lots 25-30years ago. Still quite a few guys swath canola & some barley still too. More & more straight cut though. 

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On 8/22/2019 at 7:49 PM, D1206 said:

Not much for pull types around here anymore either, lots 25-30years ago. Still quite a few guys swath canola & some barley still too. More & more straight cut though. 

Theres more and more straight cutting canola here too. Not like other areas yet but starting. Theres quite a bit oats being straight cut as well. We still swath ours yet, but I guess some of the newer varieties hold up better

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7 hours ago, db1486 said:

Theres more and more straight cutting canola here too. Not like other areas yet but starting. Theres quite a bit oats being straight cut as well. We still swath ours yet, but I guess some of the newer varieties hold up better

Weather plays a big part with straight cutting around here last few years too, we had snow early sep 15, late sep 16, oct 17 was snow on 2nd & last year snow around sep 22. Late spring this year, cold til mid May, snow early May too. Lots of moisture & crops good now, but will be late again. Sometimes that standing crop  takes a beating in snow too.

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2 hours ago, D1206 said:

Weather plays a big part with straight cutting around here last few years too, we had snow early sep 15, late sep 16, oct 17 was snow on 2nd & last year snow around sep 22. Late spring this year, cold til mid May, snow early May too. Lots of moisture & crops good now, but will be late again. Sometimes that standing crop  takes a beating in snow too.

We've had crop standing and early snow with no problems. We've combined flax with snow on the ground before and will likely do it again. 2016 we straight cut the wheat in November with snow in the ground. That was no problem, but the mud and ice was lol. Last year though was completely different that September 22nd snow flattened everything. Swaths wouldve been better than standing. But oh well. We got er done in spring lol. Nobody plans on getting shut down the first week of September and not being able to roll for 7 weeks

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Ya, they been lucky in this area last few years. Almost all got stuff done before end of Dec. The guy I help finished in Early Nov of 16, that’s latest I’ve ever ran. Last year snow in Sept wasn’t too bad. The one in 15 really flattened things. The guys west of hwy 2 usually fight bad weather more, less drying days & wetter too. Same once you get north of Edmonton too.

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