Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pinto Bean Harvest Begins

Above:  Our first field of pinto beans are ready to harvest. The pods are filled and the green color has faded.
Above:  Don is running the Pickett-One-Step which cuts the bean plants at ground level and places them in a swath.

Above:  It takes two passes of the Pickett to complete the swath. Notice how the beans are fed out the rear of the Pickett on the side as Don drives back and forth over the field. 

Above:  The structure mounted on the front of the tractor separates the rows by traveling along the ground and gently moving the plants out of the way of the tractor tires. 
Above:  Behind the tractor the plants are cut and picked up, then neatly transported over to the side.
Above:  The beans are laid back down leaving a nearly black ground surface between the swaths in the field. The swaths are fluffy which allows the beans to dry quickly. Running the Pickett is complicated and in order to achieve this result, the machine requires careful adjustment. 
Above:  Two passes of the Pickett placed close together creates the swath that the combine will pick up to separate the beans from the pods and vines. Morning sunrise provided the golden color on the swath.
Above:  Once the beans are in swaths they are at risk and to adverse weather. The sooner that they are combined the better. It is sunny and windy with a forecast of rain, so we will try to finish the field today.
Above:  Robbie has too many beans on his combine pickup, so he stops to clean off the beans before he plugs up the combine.
Above:  Soon he is moving again. The swaths are heavy and the progress is slow.
Above:  The field has just a little light residue on top that blows in the wind after the combine has done its job. You can see the beginning of what is forecast to be a big storm front in the sky. We are hoping that the rainfall will be minimal and we will be able to continue bean harvest soon.

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