Soybean Harvest

The soybean is the last crop we harvest for the year. After it’s done, the combine goes back in the shed, and stays there until needed for wheat harvest next June.  When soybeans are brought in, the plant is cut off at ground level, run through the combine, beans removed from the pods, and the pods and plants shredded and shot out the back of the combine. Here’s a pic of the soybean head on the combine.

First, the bean plant is cut by the reciprocating knife cutter bar.(blue arrows)

Second, the revolving reel with teeth knocks the cut bean plant into the auger.(green arrows)

Third, the auger (red arrows) feeds the plant up inside the combine. (yellow arrow)

The pink arrow indicates where the cute driver of the combine sits. (tee hee)   And here’s a view of the cute driver himself at the wheel.

Notice how dusty it is out the window. Harvesting beans is a dusty dirty business. Thank goodness for enclosed combine cabs.

Here’s a view of the bean head in action as shot from the inside of the combine cab. The plants have been cut and are working their way along the auger to be drawn into the combine.

Once inside the combine, the soybeans are threshed from their pods, and stored in the hopper. The pods along with the rest of the plant are shredded and shot out the back of the combine.

The combine is driven through the field at a breaking-the-sound-barrier speed of 3.5 miles per hour. That’s part of the reason why harvest can take days and days.

Here it comes towards us.

As he finishes this pass and comes past us, you can see the shredded plants coming out the back.

Harland heads back to the uncut beans for another pass. It’s like mowing the lawn.

Here he comes again to make another pass in front of us. This time, I belly flopped down onto the ground to get a mouse’s eye view.

When the hopper on the combine is full, he unloads it into the waiting grain truck parked at the edge of the field. Here he comes. There are already some beans in the truck from a previous unload.

A pull of the lever inside the combine and the beans start to unload.

Once the combine is unloaded, Harland heads back out into the field. Here’s a close-up of the beans.

He continues to harvest past sundown, and gets home every night about 9pm.

Harvest takes about a week, and by the end of it, Harland is pretty worn out.

No rest for the weary though, and next day he’s back out in the field planting winter wheat. There’s always something waiting to be done on the farm.

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