Saturday, October 11, 2008

Soybean Harvest

We didn't think we'd ever see this day!

First there was the great flood in June. Then the extended lack of rain from mid-July through mid-September. Then the realization that most of the soybean plants had died prematurely. Then another round of extremely wet weather. 

If you think the stock market is the only thing with ups and downs, you haven't planted fields and prayed for a harvest. Welcome to farming.

We were assured that our soybeans would still be worth harvesting, despite their small size. We may have to deal with a small deduction or two on the price they pay for our beans, but that is better than the big ZERO. So today, we began. 

Long-time readers will remember that we are transitioning from conventional farming (using synthetic fertilizers and sprays) to organic. It's a three year process, and pretty labor intensive. Instead of spraying to kill the weeds, we spent a lot of time on the tractor, cultivating the weeds from between the rows. But of course the weeds won. So this next set of photos are for those of you who have an over-glorified idea of what organic crop production is...

You can easily see that there are rows. If we hadn't cultivated, this field would have been a solid mass of weeds. Now, there are only weeds in the row, by the plants. What you can't easily see are the soybean plants, only half as tall as the weeds.

You can also easily see what happens to a combine forced to work its way through a weed-infested soybean field...

The Farmer is getting a good workout climbing up and down that little ladder every so often to unplug things!

And the beans themselves have a lot of "foreign matter" (this is actual, technical farm terminology for junk) in them. More deductions off the price.

But we are just so grateful that the harvest has begun and that there is a harvest!

1 comment:

  1. Wow Lona, it's amazing to visually see the "hit" you guys took this year with your soy beans. I'm thankful you have a crop though!


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