Monday, August 1, 2011

Cultivating Pinto Beans

The Ag Analyst, the Farm Inspector and their brother came to see how we were doing. 
The truth is: The fields are so wet that it is difficult to get the work done.  
As Farmer Fred walks over to say hello, he notices an old vise grip laying in the field. There is an untold story here of a breakdown and a quick repair or perhaps a tool left, inadvertently, after a field fix.
The stories are familiar, but the tool can only do us harm in the field dirt where it could be picked up by a bean combine or cause some other trouble so it's off to the junk pile with this relic. 
The Farm Inspector is ready to get out into the field and look things over. She put her work boots on with her Sunday dress for the occasion. After all, every inspection calls for a bit of pizzazz, and the afternoon was warm.
The Ag Analyst prefers to stay in the lab today.  "Me no ride tractor with Grampa Fred. Me no." 
So Farmer Fred heads back to the tractor with the girl in her boots to continue the afternoon's work. 
 Here you can see the difference that a cultivator pass makes as it digs up the weeds with its shovel. It shallowly turns the earth between the rows of pinto beans. Staying between the rows is the key to success.
The Farm Inspector likes pinto beans in chili or as refried beans and is happy to help. 
Driving straight and true is critical to prevent "cultivator blight." That is: the cultivator shanks and shovels must stay between the rows or they disturb the roots and dig up the bean plants. It takes painstaking care to accomplish this hour after hour as we cover acres of pinto beans, eight rows per pass. 
The pinto beans are lush and growing green in GriggsDakota.

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