By John Thomas, Extension Educator, Box Butte County
In recent years more growers in the central high plains are moving toward direct harvest of dry edible beans instead of the conventional method of undercutting/windrowing, and then combining.
Direct harvest is accomplished by one pass with the combine. About half the time a crop desiccant herbicide is applied pre-harvest when direct harvesting beans.
Currently in the Panhandle more than 20 percent of growers are direct harvesting their dry beans. Other growing regions such as North Dakota, Michigan and Canada are using direct harvest for the majority of their dry bean harvest.