In the face of erratic weather, the agricultural sector recommends that people harvest early to ensure rice quality and minimize damage caused by natural disasters. Everywhere, farmers are taking advantage of the time to harvest.
At 8pm on the field of Thanh Phuoc, Huong Phong, Hue City, the farmer Le Sec walked back and forth on the road to calculate the number of bags of rice unloaded from the truck. In the field, his children joined forces to lift the rice to the truck under his instructions.
In this year, Mr. Sec family planted 4.5 sao (500m2) of rice. Because the harvester has been scheduled to work continuously, he accepted to harvest rice at night. “The whole family has not had dinner yet, but when we got the phone call to harvest the rice, we all headed for the fields. Thanks to machines, we can save money and time,” he said.
One sao yields about 50 bags of rice. The Khang Dan rice variety is sold for 7,300 VND/kg. Roughly calculating, his family’s income this year will be more than last year. That night, Mr. Sec family concentrated all human resources available and it would take two days to dry and sell all of the rice.
More than 100m from Mr. Sec field, Mr. Phan Huu Tuyen ran back and forth to bring rice bags, fetch water and shining lights for the team driving the harvester. His house planted 11 sao, including 7 sao of Khang Dan, 4 sao of fragrant rice HT1. His wife has a heart condition, so he single-handedly took care of the entire crop. Even at the peak, he only hired one more worker to help him. This year, he harvested gradually, selling as he harvests. During the past week, he had to work at night to keep up with the time frame because the neighboring fields had been planted with a new crop.
Pointing to the unharvested rice field, he boasted: “Those fields of HT1 variety are also quite good. Visually, it is much more productive than last year. This is the variety I grow for our family use. Each year, our family eats nearly 1 ton of rice, and I also give it to my relatives who live far away because the variety is delicious and fragrant. Last year, the price of fertilizer and materials was high, and the crop was lost again. At this year harvest, everyone is joyful even if we must work late at night. This year, God makes up for it, " said Tuyen.
Working together to bring rice home in the night
Probably the busiest is the crew operating the harvester. The whole Thanh Phuoc Cooperative has two machines, and they are operated continuously with the price of 120,000 VND per sao for members. Mr. Phan Huu Nghiep, Team Leader of Thanh Phuoc Agricultural Cooperative Harvester team has been working six nights in a row.
The cooperative has 2 harvesters, each with 3 people to operate and repair. In the season, the machine rotates according to registered members. During the past few days, the crew members were in the field before 6am and worked until midnight. “We worked continuously for 15 days and 15 nights like tonight. The night is cool, so the machines are less damaged and use less fuel. When it comes to the harvest time, we must work at high speed to keep up. With the flat field, the rice stalks do not break, and harvesting is done very quickly. If the field is difficult to harvest, it takes a long time and it is easy to damage the machinery," Nghiep said.
According to Mr. Phan Van Dai, Director of Thanh Phuoc Agricultural Cooperative, the whole region grows 65 hectares of rice of all kinds. People keep track of the seasonal change schedule, so they all take advantage of mobilizing machinery and human resources to harvest.
“Fresh rice, real money”
The scene of rice harvest is bustling, but the scene of bagging and selling is also bustling. On the extended Vo Van Kiet Road towards Thuan An, the electric lights are bright, and many farmers are eating while collecting bagged rice.
Today, Mrs. Hoang Thi Kinh, 67 years old in Duong Mong, Phu My, along with her sister and children, dried and bagged dozens of bags of rice from 5 am to 9 pm, waiting for traders to buy. Drinking a sip of water to cool off in the early summer heat, she said she has been "eating on the rice, lying on the rice" since she was born, so she has tasted all the flavors of the hardships of farming.
Transporting rice to the collection truck in Phu Vang
Since her whole family are traditional farmers who cultivate dozens of acres, every year she harvests rice until the night. For each crop, her family harvests more than a thousand bags of rice. The whole group of women were both carrying and calculating out loud. The men in the house go to the fields with the mower and bring the rice back around 23-24h at night. The women help to dry, to bag and deal in wholesale. Last year, the crop was lost, losing tens of millions of VND. This year, her family collected more than 1.5 tons of rice, yielding approximately 350kg/sao.
Ms. Dang Thi Trang, Mrs. Kinh's daughter-in-law worked on 5 acres with her husband's family, and at the rice harvest season, she stops selling fish to harvest rice. A few nights ago, she brought her children to her mother’s and went to the field to help her mother-in-law to carry and weigh the rice. The daughters and daughters-in-law in the family all gave a hand to support the family. Seeing the good price, Ms. Kinh sold everything they harvested to traders to save money on transportation and preservation.
When the pile of rice had reached nearly a hundred bags, Mrs. Kinh "issued an order" to rest and wait for the truck to weigh in. Ms. Kinh said: “The house is crowded with many people; each person takes care of one thing. My family monitors the weather very carefully for fear of losing and spoiling the rice. I heard last year that someone at the Chiet Bi Market had a heart attack and died while collecting rice in the rain. The saying ‘one sun two dew’ is nothing compared to this profession. One grain of rice equals one hundred drops of sweat."
Traders calculate the money to buy Mr. Nguyen Van Dang’s rice
While Mrs. Kinh's family organized a powerful force, Mr. Nguyen Van Dang's family gathered rice and weighed rice alone. His family planted less than 1 acre and sold 1.5 tons of Khang Dan rice. The yield is 350kgsao, more than the previous year. The rice sells for 7,100 VND/kg. He sells the rice right away to avoid worrying about price and weather. “Around here, people sell rice at night because they have an appointment with traders. ‘Fresh rice, real money’ is truly a wonderful feeling,” Mr. Dang shared happily.
Ms. Duong Thi Ngoc Tuyet, owner of Binh Tuyet rice mill (Phu Ho, Phu Vang) drove her car back and forth to Thuan An to buy rice. Though they have not had dinner, her husband and children helped to buy and load rice on the truck to take home. This week, her family has also bought rice during the night around the area, even going to Phong Dien district. Arriving home around 9-10 pm, they unload the rice until 1-2 am. “Over the past 10 days, my rice mill has been purchasing at night. This year is a good season. When the people are excited, I am also happy. At 5 pm, I start driving, and from the afternoon to the evening, we buy rice from dozens of households. We have to take advantage of time so the farmers don’t have to wait, "said Ms. Tuyet.