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Posts Tagged ‘Harvest’

A Crop With Punch

Horseradish thrives in deep, sandy soil, the kind you find in America’s bottomlands, including third-generation farmer Barry McMillin’s 1,200 acres near Caseyville, Ill.

Barry and son, Matt, after a muddy day of harvest.

Barry and son, Matt, after a muddy day of harvest.

“German immigrants lived in this area,” McMillin says, “so it’s a tradition to grow horseradish here.” Today, he’s one of about a dozen larger-scale growers left in North America, because raising and harvesting the pungent roots, which belong to the cabbage family, is so labor-intensive.

“It’s backbreaking work,” he says of growing the plants on his land, Bluff View Farm. “You almost have to be born into it, because not everybody has the tools or the wherewithal to attack a crop like this. It’s not like corn or soybeans, and there’s not a lot of technical data or research on ‘how-to.’”

For McMillin, planting typically starts in March and April, but wet weather hampered efforts last year and planting wasn’t concluded until the first of June. “We like to have them in the ground by May 1, ideally, to have your best yield. Horseradish is similar to corn in that respect. You don’t want to plant too late because it starts taking off yield right away,” he says.

Planting is done with broken lateral roots and branch roots from selected stock. McMillin plants the roots in 36-inch rows, 18 to 24 inches apart, and hills them up like potatoes.

When he fertilizes, McMillin uses potash, phosphate and some nitrogen. “We’re heavier on potash than any other soil amendment. It’s a fertilizing program similar to what’s used for soybeans.”

During the growing season, horseradish foliage can reach 3 feet tall, and it’s hard to get off until there’s a heavy frost. McMillin hasn’t had much luck using the tops as cattle feed. “The tops have a pungent smell, like the roots, so it’s probably just not tasty to the cattle.”

With so few growers, there’s not a lot of buyers for horseradish harvesting equipment, so McMillin and other producers often assemble their own, modifying tools and equipment used for other crops. “We use a converted potato harvester,” he says. “But we have to beef up the frame because we dig 16 inches down—much deeper than potato farmers—and have heavier soils.”

McMillin says horseradish growers like his father used a bottom plow and harvested the roots with a potato fork to load onto wagons. Today, McMillin uses forklifts and two Massey Ferguson® 4243 tractors.

“We need a 150-HP tractor to pull the two-row potato harvester we modified. Alongside the digger, we have a dump cart that takes 80 to 100 HP. It catches the horseradish from the harvester. We elevate the cart to dump our loads over the side of the truck, so we don’t have to drive the truck through the field.”

The Massey Ferguson tractors provide the power McMillin needs. “I’ve had very good luck with Massey Ferguson equipment. I’ve owned at least four tractors and have leased some. They’ve been reliable, good tractors.”

Adds McMillin about his Massey Ferguson equipment: “I realize how much innovation they put into tractors. A lot of other companies use improvements that Massey came up with. They’ve always been a leader. It’s a good brand.”

Read the fully story at http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/horseradish-is-a-crop-with-punch/.

MF 9500 Series Combine, Australian Demonstrations 2012

MF9500 Series Combine demonstrations have taken place across Australian during the 2012 harvest. Hear about the machine’s performance from both owner operators and contractors.

MF 9500 Series Combine, Australian Demonstrations 2012. Part 2

MF 9500 Series Combine, Australian Demonstrations 2012. Part 3

MF 9500 Series Combine, Australian Demonstrations 2012 Part 1

It is harvest time in Australia!
Following the harvest corridor through Australia, seven MF9500 combine demos have hit the paddocks to show customers and local dealers what the MF9500 is made of.
Check out Part 1 of our MF9500 Demo Program – filmed in Queensland and New South Wales.

Gleaner Super Series Demo Combine Hits Australian Harvest

After all the news, coverage and widespread discussion, the time had finally come – the Gleaner Super Series combine hit the field in Australia!

The main feature of the Australian 2011/2012 harvest was the big, black S77 combine; travelling throughout Australia as part of the Gleaner Demo Program.

Starting in Springsure, Queensland, the Gleaner combine worked its way down to the southern state of Victoria.

“It’s fantastic to finally see the Gleaner S77 in action during harvest,” says Marcus Paul, Gleaner Product Manager. “After our Australian launch back in April 2011, dealers and customers alike had the opportunity to see the combine at work first hand,” he added.

This year’s harvest shaped up to be a hot one, with soaring temperatures in central Queensland and New South Wales. However, the heat didn’t affect the new Gleaner combines – grain samples were of the highest quality, with minimal losses – something customers across the country have been more than happy with.

Pictured: The Gleaner S77 working the fields in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.

What combine did you use this harvest?

 

Kaitlyn Nelson

I am joining AGCO to report on the North American wheat harvest. In the fall, I’ll begin my junior year at Oklahoma State University, where I am majoring in agricultural communications and minoring in agronomy.

Raised in a custom harvesting family, I’ve spent many hours in the cabs of our Gleaner combines as we traveled across the Midwest. My harvest experiences have cultivated a passion for the men and women who harvest the grain that feeds the world and for the products that make it all possible.

Wheat harvest is in my blood, but I am a little bit different than the average harvester. I want to share our stories with you. I will be giving you the ins and outs of the wheat harvest run and how AGCO products make harvesters’ lives easier and more profitable. Stay tuned!