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Combine Lifeboat Helps Harvest Wet Fields
Unionville farmer Barry Hedley says he's seen wet harvests before, but he's never seen anything like the mess he battled last year. He decided he just had to find some humor in it.
"Aw, it was such a poor year, I just thought that if we could laugh about it somehow, it'd be easier on all of us," he says with a grin.
Hedley's solution was to strap an aluminum rowboat on the side of his combine and head for the corn field, slogging his way through mud and water that was sometimes hub high on the combine.
"There were places out, there where I could have let the boat off and she'd have floated," he says. "I even had to go around a muskrat's house right out in the middle of the cornfield! I'd never seen that before!"
Hedley says the comments and laughs he's gleaned from neighboring farmers and passersby have been well worth the 15 minutes it took for him and a friend to strap the fishing boat on the side of the combine. As a final touch, he hung a life jacket next to the cab door, "just in case I need it."
"The only thing missing," he says,"was a set of downriggers. Then I could've trolled and picked corn at the same time."
Reprinted with permission from the Michigan Farmer.

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1986 - Volume #10, Issue #2