Edible Bean School: Reviewing the planting checklist


It won’t be long before the soil is fit and planters roll into edible bean fields.

On this episode of the RealAgriculture Edible Bean School, Hensall Co-op field marketer and edible bean grower Dave Louwagie shares a checklist he uses to make sure all systems are go when conditions are right for dry beans.

To kick things off, Louwagie has one simple message — get organized. That starts with preparing crop plans by variety and determining populations. “Make sure planter monitors are programmed and working.  And if you’re variable rate planting, make sure you have the seed scripts loaded in the planter monitor and it’s working and ready to go.”

Now is also the time to get seed ready, says Louwagie. “Have it in the shed well ahead of time. That puts less pressure on the grower and the seed supplier.” Knowing the seed size is another item on the checklist — this detail allows you to choose the right size plate or disc and vacuum pressure for planter units.

Louwagie also recommends growers check their seed germination. “Certified number one seed is a minimum of 85 per cent.  Most often you have 90 per cent or better.  Knowing that germination score allows you to adjust populations up or down if necessary.”

When it comes to the planter, Louwagie highlights key focus areas for growers. These include levelling the planter, and checking bushings, parallel linkages and drive systems. Disc openers and gauge wheels also need a sharp eye to ensure blade contact measures between 1.5 to 2.5 inches — this helps ensure a ‘V’ trench, not a ‘W’.

See Related Video: Prepping the planter for edible beans.

When the planter is ready to go, Louwagie reminds growers to plant into warm soil when possible. “Ideally you want to see the beans twice in the same week: once when putting the seed into the hoppers and secondly when they emerge.  If this occurs, the beans get off to a great and aggressive start.” Watch the video below.

Tap here for more episodes of Edible Bean School.

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