Sunday, November 02, 2008

Combine Nation

Like the color in the trees, farm combines appear in the fields every fall. I've lived places where the harvesting machines have come right up to my back door to pull in the crops. They're ubiquitous in Illinois this time of year. And I've lived in Illinois all my life. Yet I've never really harbored a desire to go "combining". That is, until I got a an invite from a relative to have my son come ride in a combine on their farm near Decatur. My response was, "Sure, I would love too, I mean HE would love to." So Saturday, on a perfect fall day, we drove over to the farm and rode in the combine pictured here.

The $300,000 machine has all kinds of state of the art equipment built in. There is a monitor that shows things like the yield on the patch of ground the combine is currently on as well as the moisture content of the corn and a GPS hook-up that plots the field. It's air conditioned and has a couple of seats so a passenger is comfortable. My son and I rode for about an hour as the combine pulled in corn destined for ADM. Here's a picture I took with my iPhone with my son standing in front of where I was sitting.

I got quite the ag lesson this weekend. And both of us got to ride in a cool machine.