October 1, 2014
Hello from Northwestern Illinois!Farmer Lynette was kind enough to host me on her family’s farm this week. I got to help them harvest soybeans. It was a beautiful fall day for cutting soybeans. The sun was shining and it was in the 70s, but it cooled into the 50s at night. I didn’t realize how many farms there are in Illinois! I knew Chicago was a big city in Illinois, so I had assumed that Illinois was mostly city. There are lots of other towns and many farms to be found though.
I had a great time here, and I learned a lot! First of all, did you know that girls can be farmers? I had no idea! Farmer Lynette showed me that she farms, too!
Farmer Lynette told me that the leaves have to turn brown and fall off the plants before they can be harvested.
I got to ride along with Farmer Lynette in the tractor. The tractor was pulling two gravity wagons. The combine would unload the harvested soybeans into the wagons.
Then, Farmer Lynette and I would drive the tractor and wagons and unload them into an auger (on the left) and then the auger would carry the beans into the grain bin (top). Farmer Lynette explained to me that they will store beans in the grain bin until later this winter when they deliver them to a grain elevator. After they leave the elevator, they are processed to make livestock feed, food, oil and fuel. There are other uses too, such as candles, crayons, ink, and more!
I got to ride in the combine too! The picture on the left shows how the beans get into the combine. The picture on the right is looking out the window at the beautiful field of beans.
Wow! I couldn’t believe how much technology farmers use. This computer screen shows the farmer what part of the field has been harvested, how much the field is yielding (which means how many beans the field grew), and so much more. I couldn’t believe that they could know all of that information before they are even done combining.
I had so much fun on the farm today. I loved riding in the tractor and combine, and making friends with Farmer Lynette. She taught me so much. I can’t wait for my next adventure!