Dry bean direct harvest meeting set for Feb. 15
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension experts will present up-to-date information about direct harvest of dry edible beans at a meeting in Alliance on Feb. 15.
The Dry Bean Direct Harvest Meeting begins with sign-in and coffee at 9:30 a.m. at Knight Museum & Sandhills Center, 908 Yellowstone. The meeting will last into the afternoon and lunch will be served.
Attendees are asked to preregister by Feb. 8, by calling the Box Butte County Extension Office at 308-762-5616. There is no cost, but lunch will be provided for only those who pre-register. For more information contact John Thomas, Extension educator, at the Box Butte County Extension Office.
The meeting is intended to bring updated information to growers who already practice direct harvest as well as those considering it. Direct harvest is a one-pass method utilizing a combine with the correct header.
Thomas said direct harvest of dry edible beans has become popular in other major dry-bean production areas. In western Nebraska some growers have begun practicing direct harvest and their number is increasing year by year, he said.
One of the benefits is that the crop is not as exposed to bad weather during harvest. Customary practices leave bean plants lying in the field, vulnerable to the wind, after they have been cut off at the ground. There's also a potential cost savings from making fewer passes over the field, which is balanced by the potential for greater harvest loss of beans. Farmers who adopt direct harvest need to find ways to minimize harvest lost, Thomas said.
Topics at the Feb. 15 meeting will include field preparation, using a planter versus drilling, weed control, the use of desiccants, direct harvesting, measuring and evaluating harvest loss and insurance considerations. Speakers include John Smith, emeritus professor at UNL who retired several years ago as Machinery Systems Engineer; UNL Extension Weed Specialist Robert Wilson; and Thomas, Extension educator in Box Butte County.
Equipment representatives will be giving an update on what is available or coming soon for direct harvest (Case IH, John Deere, MacDon). A grower panel will have opportunity to answer questions and discuss their experiences with direct harvest.