Edible Bean School: Prepping the combine for harvest

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Protecting and improving quality is a top priority as edible bean harvest gets underway.

On this episode of the RealAgriculture Edible Bean School, we focus on fine-tuning the combine with Delta Power Equipment technicians Brad Saunders and Andrew McCarthy. They take growers inside an edible bean combine and offer tips on how to reduce cracked seedcoats and splits, and enhance overall quality.

Everything needs to be inspected, says McCarthy, noting that pick-up teeth need to be in place and in good working order. He adds that good clearance also needs to be maintained to ensure the combine is picking up beans, not rocks.

To protect the beans, combine operators are also encouraged to keep a close eye on in-feed and transition augers to confirm they are well-maintained and not worn too excessively. From there, Saunders focuses on the rotors. He recommends combine operators pay special attention to the transmission gearboxes where bearings and belts need to be checked daily. If one belt is worn and slack, it could slip, plug the rotor switches and damage beans. (Story continues after the video.)

Rotor flighting and pins are another focus point. Concaves also need to be inspected — if they are wearing thin, holes will develop and thrashing will be compromised. McCarthy then climbs into the cab to explain why it’s important to monitor the speed of all combine components to avoid plugging and maximize efficiency.

Saunders wraps up the combine prep at the back of the machine with tips on how to get a clean sample into the bin and residue evenly spread across the field. He recommends that conveyor chains be checked to ensure they maintain proper tension and no buckets are broken or missing. Operators should also check fans for proper flow, and make sure sieves are neat and tidy, allowing all the beans to pass through and be properly moved to the augers. Chopper knives are a final thing to check to ensure proper cutting and distribution or residue.

Click here for more Edible Bean School videos.

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