Hauling The Corn To The Elevator

Yesterday we took a ride in the combine harvesting corn, and unloading it into the grain truck. Since the truck is full, we have to take it to the grain elevator in town to unload. So come along for the ride.

Your truck driver today is Harland, better known this time of year as the “Slayer Of Corn”.

It’s a short scenic drive to town, only about 3 miles. Our neighbors are all bringing in their corn too. This neighbor has a red combine.

When we arrive at the elevator, there are already 2 trucks ahead of us.

While we’re waiting in line, we have time to watch others as they unload their corn. Here, one truck unloads while another waits behind.

The trucks have a trapdoor on the bottom. A lever is pulled, and the grain flows out of the truck and down into a “pit”. From there, it is moved into the grain storage bins you see here.

Finally, we’re next in line. First, we have to drive onto a scale to be weighed. The truck is weighed before and after unloading to determine the net weight of the corn. In this picture, the truck ahead of us is on the scale.  (The scale platform is the light blue square under the truck.)

There’s a small office up the steps to the right where the weight is recorded in a computer.  Our truck is weighed next, and then we pull ahead to unload.

Harland positions the truck so that the unloading door is over the grate in the concrete above the pit.

An employee at the elevator opens the trap door,

and the grain begins to flow out into the pit.

Sometimes it piles up some, but it will all go down eventually.  Workers sweep into the grate any corn that misses with a push broom.

Harland waits in in the truck while 700 bushels or 20 tons of corn are unloaded. It only takes about 5 minutes.

After unloading, we drive back around to the scale to be weighed again.I couldn’t get out of the truck to take a pic because my weight was included in the weighing before unloading, so I got a pic from my window looking at my side mirror.  See the light blue of the scale platform under us?

After weighing, Harland goes into the office to collect the receipt.

Afterwards, we head back to the field for more harvesting, where Harland takes a quick look at the receipt.

We sold this corn to the elevator back in May promising to deliver upon harvest. Farmers can either sell grain ahead of the harvest, at harvest time, or store it at the elevator and sell it later. It’s a matter of watching the grain market, and selling when the price is up.

The type of corn we grow is used for livestock feed and ethanol production. From the elevator, it will be hauled via truck to the elevator terminal in Topeka. From Topeka, it will be hauled on a freight train to livestock yards and ethanol plants around the country.

Thanks for coming along on the truck today. Please make sure to stop by the gift shop at the edge of the field. (tee hee)


Up NextHomemade Swiss Braided Bread. Warm, buttery, and pretty too.


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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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30 Responses

  1. Just got a chance to go through your sight. You’ll have been quite busy, everything looks great. Like the pics from the flea mkt post. We are getting ready to hit a flea mkt next week in Ohio with over 2200 vendors. Hope all has been well. As you know I haven’t been keeping up with my blog, but I am trying to catch up.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Cattle Call Farm,
      How was the flea market you attended over the weekend?
      Thanks for stopping by, and good to hear from you!

  2. Vivian says:

    I wonder how much popcorn that load of corn would make? lol – I have really enjoyed my “tour” and learning about harvesting corn. Actually my daughter and I read it together. We’re city folk, and the next time we open a can of corn, we’ll know where it came from – hee hee (or maybe the next time I fill up the car). Also, Harland takes beautiful pictures! We checked out his site as well. They were all grand, and one we especially liked was of the sunflowers watching the rainbow. They were saying, “oooh! aaaah!”. Looking forward to seeing that wonderful bread recipe. Can smell it already.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Vivian,
      Glad you and your daughter enjoyed this post. And I’ll pass your compliments about Harland’s photography along. I finally got the bread recipe posted, check it out.

  3. Nice tour. Is it really dusty when you unload the corn at the elevator the way wheat is? I always hated that part. I’d roll up the windows and bake in the hot cab to cut down on the dust.

  4. Glyndalyn says:

    I love it! Thanks for staying on the farm and FARMING. We live in rural TN and have a “gentleman” farm. In other words a phoney farm.

  5. Liz says:

    Great pictures! How many days and how many trips do you take to unload your corn? With the very hot summer we had was Harlan happy with the harvest so far?

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Liz,
      Not sure about how many trips we take to the elevator. He does several fields over a course of about 2 weeks. The corn harvest yields look good so far, but the soybeans were hit hard by the drought, and are going to be a disappointment.

  6. Ok, if you had a gift shop, I would surely buy something! That was so funny! Once again, you have thoroughly quenched my interest as to how things work behind the scenes. It’s all so very interesting to me! Also, thanks for sharing about the fact that farmers can sell ahead of time, upon delivery, or later due to the fact of the selling price of grain….I was asking myself that question as soon as you said Harland checked the receipt. I had no idea about selling when the price is up…and now I know. You are educating all of us and doing a great job!

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Bonnie,
      Thank you so much. I enjoy receiving all the comments and had no idea when I started this blog that anyone would be interested in our day to day farm activities.

  7. Shailaja says:

    I am awe-struck by the efficiency with which the whole process gets done.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Shailaja,
      Isn’t it amazing? Like a well oiled machine, except when the combine breaks down, or the elevator is full and we have to go someplace else. But that doesn’t happen very often thank goodness.

  8. Teresa says:

    I must say, having fields of my own has made me actually kind of watch the markets this year. I’m still glad I have a nephew that likes to do that for me. This really was a great post.

  9. Candace says:

    Another really interesting post. Good photos and simple description telling how things work. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Doe of Mi. says:

    Very informative post. Nice and neat.
    The corn looks beautiful all shelled and in the truck.
    By the way — loved your “gift shop”. LOL

  11. Julie, Farmer in California says:

    Wow. That is exactly how we deliver our almonds too. Same exact procedure. I love riding with Randy in the truck. And of course he loves my company. We do the same thing with the sales of our crop. Whenever the price is good, before harvest, during, or holding on till the price goes up. Gotta get the best price. I think we could be fast friends if we all got together. We have so much in common. Farming life is the best. But then again, I’m a farmer…..

  12. Julie says:

    I was also wondering how many trips you make in a season? How many harvests are there? Do you replant the corn at all or is it just one harvest per year? Great pics!

    • Suzanne says:

      Not sure about how many trips. We plant corn in the spring, and harvest it in the fall. Will replant again next spring.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Karla says:

    Great play-by-play of delivering corn to the elevator. Up until 6 wks ago, I worked part-time at the local grain elevator. I weighed trucks and inspected grain. I think blogs like this play an important role in letting people see how the world is fed. Great job!

  14. Rochelle says:

    Very interesting post! I’m also looking forward to your Homemade Swiss Braided Bread post, and want to try your Honey Wheat Bread also. I love to bake; my daughter and I made Focaccia not too long ago and it turned out great. Thanks again.

  15. Al Johnson says:


    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Al,
      Although the type of corn we grow is used for ethanol and animal feed, I suppose a person could eat it. It’s kinda tough though. Hominy is made from a type of corn that is for human consumption. Did you know that when making hominy to soften the corn it is soaked in a lye solution? Must be rinsed well afterwards I’m guessing.
      Thank you!

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