Monday, September 24, 2018

Soybean Harvest

Soybean harvest is underway!  I realized that I have never blogged about soybeans much.  They don't get much attention from the kids and I.  The kids love watching the corn grow tall, picking ears, and riding in the combine.  My favorite has always been cotton.  <3

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Some of you may only know soybeans from the bag of edamame in the freezer section of your grocery store.  That's totally ok!  As I've said many many times... I didn't know anything about farming before I met Ben.  Now, I consider myself a pro.  HA just kidding...  I can hold my own in a good agricultural argument debate, though.

So the edamame/soybeans that you get from the grocery store are actually immature beans.  Here is a soybean plant, and you can obviously see that the leaves are green.  At this point we are still monitoring the fields, irrigating, and keeping it free of weeds and pests.

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We irrigate soybeans with pivots and row water.  Here is an example of row watering with poly pipe.

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Just like corn, soybeans have to be around a certain moisture level to be ready for harvest.  When they are ready, they look dried up.

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The same combine is used for corn and bean harvest, just the header is changed for each.  The combine spits out the trash, and empties the beans into the tank.

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When the tank is full, the guys dump the soybeans into the grain cart on-the-go, going through the field continuously harvesting.  The grain cart takes it from the field to the semi parked on the end row, or if the bins are close enough, it will go straight to the bin.

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Soybeans are made up of oil and protein.  A small percentage is oil, and a larger percentage is protein.  Most of the protein part is used in feed for animals all around the world.  Everything from cattle feed to fish feed.  The oil is used for many things including crayons, candles, hydraulic fluid, biodiesel, carpet, upholstery materials, ink, and particleboard, and astro turf.  For human consumption, soybeans are used for margarine, chewing gum, soy milk (soybeans that have been soaked, ground up, boiled, and filtered), tofu, cooking oil, flour, salad dressings, mayonnaise, packaging canned food (tuna and sardines), breads, crackers, cakes, cookies, etc.

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Our soybeans in the past have been loaded onto a barge and shipped straight to China.  I don't think that has happened in a while.  They have mostly been sold locally.

2 of my favorite photos of Austin have been taken in the soybeans... <3

Austin's best pics are always in the soybeans.  #mamasgirl #minime #fallfamilyphotos #farmersdaughteraustin 3 years

So that was a peek into harvest. To see a post that I did about corn harvest, click HERE. There are a lot of similarities with the two.

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