Fall on the Farm

Posted by on September 6, 2021 at 3:05 PM

Down on the Farm by Tina Carlin

Fall on the farm sometimes means an end to a growing season. Oats, Wheat, and Corn are harvested to store up for animal feed for the winter.

I remember, in my younger days, harvesting oats, wheat, and corn.

We had an old Allis Chalmers combine that pulled behind our tractor to gather the oats and wheat. My job was to take a wagon to the field. We had two wagons that we used for gathering oats and wheat. We would either bag it or run in the wagon loose. We had a special room on the barn floor for the oats and a wooden collapsible bin for wheat. When the oats and wheat were all harvested, my dad would then call a man who had a grain cleaner that would separate the weeds from the oats and wheat. We would then put the cleaned grain back into the oats room or the wheat bin.

When my dad would harvest the corn, he would either chop corn silage to be put in the silo. That, I think, is my most favorite smell on the farm. There is nothing sweeter than the smell of fresh chopped corn being run into the silo. We didn’t have the fancy silage wagons that other farmers had or like they have now. Our silage wagons were a wooden box wagon that the box lifted from the front by a hydraulic cylinder. We would lift the end gate and prop it up with a 2 x 4 to keep it open while the corn slid out into the table blower. Our table blower was run by a belt that was placed over the flywheel on our Farmall H or M. Or he would pick it with an old Massey Harris tractor that had a mounted two-row corn picker, that we would pull a wagon behind it to catch the ear corn as it was picked off of the stalk of corn. We would then take the wagons of ear corn and run them into our wire corncrib with our John Deere elevator with a corn snout on the top of the elevator.

We would use this stored up grain and corn in the winter and grind it into feed with our hammermill grinder that was sitting on the barn floor and had a pipe attached that would put it right into a storage bin that we would use to feed the cows. This was usually done one to two times a week so that the grain was fresh for the cows to eat.

The cows were fed twice daily with corn silage and the grain chop that we ground. They would also be supplemented with the hay that we baled through the summer.

Spring, summer, and fall were always the busiest times of the year on our small, central Pennsylvania farm. It was always comforting to know that we had a great batch of feed stored up for the animals to eat through the cold, snowy, winter months.


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