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Time to plant beans!

May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day, dear reader!  Locally there has been a flurry of farming activity, as the unseasonably warm and sunny weather dried out the fields.  With the forecast for thunderstorms around Bippus today, everybody was running, trying to get their soybeans planted.

John Deere Tractors in the Field

green tractors yellow wheels

Some of the fellas will work the ground, like in the photo above.  Others prefer to go with a No-Till process and drill their beans.  Opinions vary, with the cost of diesel fuel, and weed control products.  And of course there is the ever important (bottom line) issue of yield.

Applying fertilizer

Fertilizer wagon behind John Deere Tractor

The wagon in the above photo will be used to distribute fertilizer over a 50′ area, with each pass.  Potash is the nutrient about to be applied here, as that is what the beans like best.

Cultivating for beans

The ground is dry when there is this much dust

So the typical process would be to work the ground, apply some fertilizer if required, and then plant the seed.  Weed control spraying will be done after the plants are up, but before they get too big.

bean planting

Bean planter in action

Now this bean planter above is no ordinary tractor- it is an automated Global Positioning System (GPS) driven unit.  The driver has to set up the first pass, and make the turns at the end of the field, but after the turn he presses the *auto* button, and the computer lines up the row for optimal planting accuracy.

GPS monitor in enclosed cab tractor

GPS monitor *drives* the tractor for straight rows.

In the photo above, the GPS shows the projected path, and gives other relevant information.

John Deere planting machine

View of planter from tractor cab

One of the pieces of information the computer annunciates is the seed count.  If I remember correctly, the goal here was 160,000 seeds to the acre.  We needed to stop and make an adjustment because the count got too high at one point.

Bean planting equipment

Side of John Deere planter

The seed count was lowered by adjusting the mechanism just below the “D” in Deere, and verified by the on-board computer, and cost savings were realized.

close up of planter

Business end of planter

The beans travel down from the yellow tank, drop into a furrow created by one of the disks, (at the proper RATE), and are then covered by dirt moved by another disk.  This photo shows at least ten rows of beans will be planted by this side of the planter, per pass.

I want to thank Ryan of Rooney Farms for sharing his time and information while going about the business of producing soybeans, it was an interesting and enjoyable ride!  THANKS, Ryan.

Sunset over Bippus

Sunset over Bippus

And then the sun started to set, and it was time to retire for the day.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 31, 2010 5:26 pm

    Good information!

  2. May 31, 2010 5:56 pm

    good information!

  3. May 31, 2010 5:57 pm

    Good info!

  4. Pam permalink
    June 14, 2010 8:24 pm

    Beautiful pics. Nicely done.

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