Edible Bean School: Self-propelled bean combine makes Canadian debut


There are many different approaches to harvesting edible beans, from typical combine setups used for other crops to harvesters designed specifically for beans. Specialized bean combines have historically been pull-type designs, but a new machine harvesting beans on a farm in southern Manitoba is believed to be the first factory-built self-propelled bean combine in Canada.

This harvest-focused Edible Bean School episode takes us to a cranberry bean field near Plum Coulee, Man., for a look at the latest in edible bean harvesting technology — a brand new Colombo Avanti C410 combine.

The Brazilian-designed machine features a 410 hp 9.0L John Deere engine, with a CLAAS transmission and cab, and is completely-hydraulically driven, from the bean pickup at the front to the rotors, fans, sieves, legs, and choppers that run along both sides of the machine to the rear.

The threshing system is a twin rotor design, with auger pins that can be adjusted for aggressiveness depending on plant conditions, explains Frank Unger, who works with Manitoba equipment dealer genAG, in the video below.

With any combine threshing beans, the goal is to minimize the amount of smearing and dockage, as well as splits and cracked seedcoats. “That’s why they went to a [unload] conveyor. An auger will scratch them up, you get coating damage or a cracked bean, which is not really a sellable bean,” notes Unger.

In addition to beans, Colombo’s machines are commonly used for peanuts in the southern U.S. and Latin America.

Check out the video below for more with Unger and to see the self-propelled bean combine in action, as the 2023 edible bean harvest begins in Manitoba’s Red River Valley:

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