Pre-harvest report

barnI have served you this same written meal several times; a story about
sugar beet harvest. We are still in the pre-pile stage but I think I
have gathered enough to prepare you for the harvest which occurs
October 1st.

a. Pre-harvest versus the harvest

The main harvest of sugar beets has always been called “the
campaign.” This is a pretty simple definition as we begin October 1st
and don’t stop until we complete the task. Pre-pile is a different
animal. Pre-pile exists for as many different reasons as there are
perspectives. Pre-pile exists to give the processing factories
something from which to extract, or it exists so farmers can remove
beets from field headlands which gives them space to move equipment.
It seems like we progressively remove more sugar beets each year
during pre-pile which I suspect is an attempt to avoid the cold,
late-season harvest which has occurred in the past.

B. R and R Bucks

Last year I told you that I received my whole paycheck in “R and R
Farms Bucks” which are redeemable, same as cash, at all participating
“175” convenience stores, of which only one exists. This year’s “R
and R Bucks” are much nicer and look almost like real currency. The
“buck” appears like most dollar bills but lacks a presidential
portrait. Instead, there is what appears to be a scene very similar
to Mt Rushmore however the faces are those of John, Eddy, Mike and
Joe. The bill is of very nice quality and the 175 convenience store
has a lot more to choose from so I am pretty happy. Not as happy as I
would be if I received legal tender but you take the good with the
bad.

C. Harvesting beets near Thief River Falls

I saw an article about the sugar beet harvesting near Thief River
Falls. The beet harvest has slowly crept east for some time, now. R
and R Farms harvested near Viking last year and this past summer
hauled from just southwest of Carpenter’s Corner. Valley farmers like
the lighter, sandier ground for times when heavier ground is too wet
to support heavy equipment. I just like hauling from familiar
geography.

D. A real conversation

Okay, a portion of what I write about the harvest is simple farce.
There is no such thing as “R and R bucks” and I get paid by check. A
lot of what I write about the harvest is done in good fun which
developed while sitting in a truck following a harvesting up and down
a field. We like to tease each other on the radio a lot and I would
like to share a conversation which recently occurred between Ed
Rosendahl and me. Please remember we are friends, we were just
kidding and no feelings were hurt during the making of the following
conversation. It started off as a discussion about heart attacks and
performing CPR.

Eddy (reflectively)” I suppose if I ever had a heart attack you’d
have to call my wife to see if she really want you to save me!”
Grant (supportively) “Eddy, we know you’d never want any heroic
measures, and you are pretty old”
Eddy (rolls his eyes-at least I think)
Grant “you know, Ed. It probably would be best if you gave me power
of attorney so that I can make these sorts of decisions for you
during the harvest.”
Eddy “I suppose you would want control of the check book too?!”
Grant “I think the family would be comfortable with that, I just
seems like a logical step.”
Eddy “You’d make sure the boys got paid?”
Grant (greedily, eyes narrowing, background darkening) “yes, oh yes.
They would find me fair and kind”
Eddy (hopefully) “but their wives would still have to work?”
Grant “I have always found a productive woman, is a good wife. So,
yes”

All in good fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s