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Gary350
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900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Did you every wonder where your grocery store produce comes from. My cousin planted 900 acres of blue lake bush beans a few weeks ago in southern Illinois.

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jal_ut
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Omigosh! That is awesome!
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imafan26
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

That is a big hill o' beans.
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applestar
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Do they grow anything else or is it solid 900 acres of one variety of beans? Talk about monoculture. :shock:

... uhhh NOPE can't picture it. I'm sitting on 3/8 acre property here ... :eek:
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rainbowgardener
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

" Talk about monoculture" yup... bean beetle paradise! :?
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Meatburner
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

just the tractor is bigger than my garden. I still love it though.

imafan26
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

I am sitting on 5400 sq ft lot

5400/43560 = 12/100 of an acre

I can get over 72 of my house lots into 900 acres.


P.S. I have 5 bush beans in the garden right now.
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Gary350
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

applestar wrote:Do they grow anything else or is it solid 900 acres of one variety of beans? Talk about monoculture. :shock:... uhhh NOPE can't picture it. I'm sitting on 3/8 acre property here ... :eek:
My 2 cousins both farm about 2000 acres of land each. Dick only owns 10 acres of land but share crops 2000 acres. Joe owns 40 acres of land and share crops 2000 acres of land too. I know they have 900 acres of blue lake bush beans and 500 acres of silver queen sweet corn. I was told all the reset is field corn. I would be willing to bet they have the sweet corn planted more than a mile away from the field corn. Farming has changed a lot since I lived on the farm in the 1950s and 1960s. It use to take me 2 weeks to plow, disc and plant 20 acres when I was 16 yrs old, I was in the field from sun up to sun down every day 6am to 9pm for 2 weeks. Now days with 32 row chisel plow and planter they plant 250 acres with each tractor every day. 4 tractors can plant 1000 acres every day. I remember my grandfather use to listen to the weather forecast of the radio all day, we had no TV, he was looking for a window of opertunity, no rain, warm temperatures and full sun so we could plow, disc then plant. When the time came I would drive all day and someone else would drive after dark with the lights on if need be. We worked around the clock trying to get as much planted as possible before the next rain. I have been away from farming for 50 years I don't know all the details about high tech farming these days. When I graduated from high school then college I left farm country and never looked back. Now I miss it. I wish I had about 1 area of land and a tiny 2 bedroom house right in the center of farm country. I would almost pay somone to spend the summer farming with them, I am missing it. 50 years ago the land owner got 1/3 of the crop, the share crop farmer got 2/3, now days the land owner gets a flat rate fee $400 per acre.
Last edited by Gary350 on Sat May 23, 2015 2:45 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Allyn
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

I have tractor envy. Love the caterpillar treads.
Gary350 wrote:... I would be willing to bet they have the sweet corn planted more than a mile away from the field corn.
That's a safe bet :)

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Gary350
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

The beans are looking good. This 13 row cultivator will probably be busy for about 2 weeks. You break up the top 2" of soil it dries out and acts like insulation so the soil below stays moist. It also keeps down weeds and grass. There are 5 chisel plow blades on each of the 13 cultivators.

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imafan26
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Boys with toys
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applestar
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Hahaha @imafan! :lol:

I'm finding these photos interesting. (Thanks @Gary350 :D )
I've always been curious about the machinery at work on the area farms, but never took the time to search out what they are. I love learning what they are called and what they are used for. :()

I'm also always amazed by the ingenuity and inventiveness of the folks with minds that have worked out these big machines used for agriculture and I factories too. :-()
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Gary350
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

My cousin said, he took out a $74,000. loan to buy seed. When he harvestes the crop in a few months he has to pay off the loan with interest. He is hoping to make enough to pay off other things, pay the farm equipment loans, pay for fuel, fertilizer, herbicide, maintenance, hired help, insurance, an maybe make a profit of $50,000. this year if the weather permits.

Cultivating use to be hard, you spend 14 hours a day staring at the field to make sure the tires stay between the rows. If you day dream for only 30 seconds you can get off center and kill a lot of plants. Some farmers have GPS stearing system on their tractors it records where you have been when you plow and plant the 2000 acres. When it comes time to cultivate or harvest set the tractor on auto pilot it remembers where the tractor drove before and it follows the exact same path. Tractor is traveling 7 mph for 14 hours that is 98 miles a day.

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applestar
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

My daughter and I were wondering about that -- someone has to be driving very straight ...otherwise, as she put it "Buh-bye Beans!" :eek:
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Gary350
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

A little bit more educational information for applestar.

When I was 16 our tractors were small Farmall H. They only had enough power to pull a 2 bottom plow at 7 mph. 2 tractors could plow 4 rows at a time. The second day in the field the 2 tractors with plows would continue to plow what had not been plowed yet. Soil that had been plowed the first day is now dry enough to disc and plant. Tractor #3 would pull a disc that is the same width as the 2 plows. Tractor #3 had a head start on tractor #4 that will pull the 4 row planter. The planter is slow because it drives to the end of the field turns around and comes back then stops to get refilled with seed. Tractor #4 still travels about the same speed as the other 3 tractor. The tractors all follow each other day after day to get as much land planted as possible before it rains. Lets assume it rains on day 6 all the tractors park where ever they are in the field and we all go home and wait. Often we had to wait for the soil to dry a little to start work again. If it was warm, sunny and dry on day 7 we could start again on day 8. Tractors are all parked in the field so we walk across the field get on our tractor and take off.

Now days the 32 row chisel plow, 32 row planter and 32 row sprayer are all on the same metal frame and 1 tractor pulls it. The tractor only makes 1 trip through the field and the crop if plantes. Technology is amazing. Time is the most important thing. Get as much planted as quick as you can before the next rain so the crop can be harvested before bad fall weather. Field corn and soy beans needs to dry for a month in the field before harvest if it is a late season crop fall rain will destroy it.

After all the crops have been harvested in the fall it is time to plant winter wheat. Wheat will be ready to harvest in spring then its time to plant corn and beans.

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MichaelC
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Loving this thread, thank you Gary!

Taiji
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

I'm thinking about how many green beans I get from 2 little 6 foot rows. I usually plant stringless green pods. Many multiple pickings, so much I blanch and freeze some every year, and eat them all winter. It boggles the mind how many thousands of bushels 900 acres must give! By the way, unfortunately, I checked my schedule and it seems I have some previous pressing engagements that will prevent me from helping out with the 900 acre harvest come pickin' time! :) Sorry! :)

I guess you only get one "picking" with something like that? Once you go through with the harvesting equipment, there's no more harvesting, right? Or do farm workers actually go out and pick by hand?! In that case, you could get many pickings.

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Gary350
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Taiji wrote:I guess you only get one "picking" with something like that? Once you go through with the harvesting equipment, there's no more harvesting, right? Or do farm workers actually go out and pick by hand?! In that case, you could get many pickings.
I don't know for sure but I think your probably right. One thing I learned from my garden is, 65% of the total yearly green bean harvest comes from the first harvest. 25% comes from the second harvest and 10% comes from the 3rd harvest. You only loose 35% if the crop is gone after the first harvest.

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Gary350
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Beans are looking good.

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Gary350
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Green bean harvest.

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These are the picking machines.

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Big truck load of green beans.

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Taiji
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Wow! That should pay off the $74,000 loan! Since the beans are harvested so soon, will your cousin now plant something else for this season?

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Gary350
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Taiji wrote:Wow! That should pay off the $74,000 loan! Since the beans are harvested so soon, will your cousin now plant something else for this season?
Its not too late to plant another crop of Blue Lake bush beans. Some farmers plant winter wheat about Oct but I don't know what my cousin will do. Just have to wait and see it would be silly not to plant something, this is July 5th there is still several months of nice weather.

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Gary350
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Second Crop of Blue Lake Bush beans. Another 900 acres will be ready to harvest in a few weeks. I wonder how many cans of green beans they get from 900 acres.

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Francesco Delvillani
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Amazing...a sea of beans :) !!! how to do the harvest? it's difficult to separate the plant from the beans using a tractor?
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Gary350
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Francesco Delvillani wrote:Amazing...a sea of beans :) !!! how to do the harvest? it's difficult to separate the plant from the beans using a tractor?
The company that is buying the beans has their own harvest machines. They bring about 10 harvesters on tractor trailer trucks and harvest about 250 acres each day as the beans were planted about 250 acres each day. Beans are picked then when the large buckets are full they are dumped into large trailers then taken to the factory to be processed.

Beans are a 65 day crop, it is easy to get 2 bean crops per season I do that in my home garden. I learned from 45 years of gardening 70% of the crop comes from the first harvest, 20% from the second harvest, 10% from the third harvest. I always pull up my beans after the first harvest, if I need more beans I plant again. 2 crops gives me 70% each time that is 70% + 70% = 140% or 40% more than 1 crop of beans.

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Gary350
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

More green beans. This is the last of the beans.

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n8young
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Re: 900 acres of Blue Lake Bush Beans.

Those green beans themselves look like crap. All spotty with something. Is that just dirt on the beans?

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