Bean Time

I didn’t have to make a liar out of me the whole neighborhood did it for me. After rolling up a quarter mile of barb wires Wednesday evening I noticed the farmer south across the road from my farm north of  I-80 was cutting beans and making dust. So I meandered home through back roads after heading south out of town and sure enough, I saw two more guys out cutting beans. When I stopped by my combine the landlord said he knew of two additional gentlemen who were combining beans as well. So I decided to give it a try. Supper would have to wait. It was plenty wet as I run two hoppers and on the second hopper I kept plugging up my down hill side snoot. The tires were looking wet and I was leaving deep tracks wherever I drove, full or empty so I decided I had to stop for the night. I thought I smelled smoke and the engine was running hotter than it had been.

Yesterday when I showed up at the combine it sat with a flat rear tire. The auger tire had been leaking for at least a year  and this year it was going flat in only a couple days so I removed them both and run them over to Paco’s Tire and had them fixed. The night before I had noticed the rotating radiator screen on the combine engine wasn’t rotating so I cleaned out the nearly plugged radiator with compressed air. Also the engine belts had developed a squeal so I tightened up the two that run the alternator and the radiator fan/water pump. After fueling up and greasing the combine I was ready to cut beans again by noon or a little later. By evening we were loading out a semi load of soybeans for Bartlet  and field conditions were getting close to ideal. By sundown the straw beater belt had fallen off and I had the beginnings of a big bale of straw building up ominously in the back of my combine.

Luckily I caught it before I slugged the whole machine full of soybean plants. I had it cleaned out by dark and the belt back on running but I had to stop for the night, wind or what. The wind blew all night too. This morning there was no dew and I was cutting beans by a little after eight. The wind blew like crazy all day today out of the northwest. That makes the second time this week. I don’t know why but that fact sends shivers up my spine. Probably because that darn wind kept sending shivers up my spine. If I was outside today I was generally wearing a coat. Not a real coat but a hoodie sweatshirt with a zipper front under a Wrangler brand blue jeans jacket. I even noticed a ball cap that’s hung on an old radio antenna on the 1066 Hydro ever since I took it off and hung it up there last spring as it warmed up for the year.

We loaded out two semi loads of soybeans today, going to the Bunge crush plant, one around noon or soon after and one at sundown again. Then I had to stop for the night. I had a good run today and I don’t want to run in the dark and lose that belt on the straw beaters again. I was fortunate enough to catch it right before dark last night, if that belt had come off one of those nights I was running late in the dark and I slugged the machine I would have spent more time unplugging it than I saved running in the dark. In corn that belt can come off and not plug anything up. I’ll save my night running for the corn run, I’m too close to being done with beans to screw up now. Every bean that I have left I can see from the field I’m cutting. I have the east side of the next door neighbor’s farm and two patches on the home place. Maybe seventy five acres. Pray me through.


I can load out any time I like but I can never leave.