Soybean Harvest

Yesterday I looked up from planting trees and saw the big machines descend upon the farm that surrounds us, the land  belongs to John’s Uncle.  These are not our beans, we do not crop the fields.

john deere

They are huge, heavy, expensive machines and move fast and within minutes we were choking and sneezing in heavy dust as the beans were being lifted, sorted and carted away. I managed to get all the laundry in off the line before they went to that side though. The house is literally surrounded in his fields – so we ran to close the windows. John’s uncle rents these fields to a local cropper and I rent my cows fields from the cropper.  The cows did not care of course it was all a mild entertainment to them.

cow and tractor


Industrial farming is fast, like a surgeons knife. In. Out. Done. On to the next property.


Within hours the crop was gone, the machines were gone and the four men were all gone. harvest And now the fields will sit empty and grey, until the spring.


Let’s hope Poppy is not waiting until the spring.  Her due date is in three days time. I think she might be right on time.  I hope so anyway.

This is Romain’s last full day,  he leaves tomorrow – so we are going to extend the piglets electric fence field – that is always a fun job and goes much faster with Two. the harvest

I hope you have a lovely day





37 Comments on “Soybean Harvest

  1. We have grain fields on two sides of us but the fields are much smaller than those around y’all. Sometimes in the spring, when the farmers are working those fields, you can smell the chemicals in the breeze. Bleck.

  2. And are they not cover cropping afterwards to rebuild and hold the soil? If they are, good for them! If not, for shame!

    • I wondered the same thing about cover crops. Leaving it fallow seems such a waste. Clearly those fields are not organic. C, do you ever worry about pesticide drift?

    • My very thought! I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t put in winter rye or something they could turn under to build up the soil. Ah well, Big Ag.

  3. Did they even appreciate the welcoming committee in the driveway, I wonder? Aah well, the fields may be bare again but if you slit your eyes and look out the window you can dream you are looking out over a very calm ocean 🙂 Laura

  4. It seems as if the peahens are ceremoniously shutting the gate behind the workers, thank you very much, and reclaiming their rightful, and quiet farm right back while adding a guard detail so that NO ONE ELSE can bother them.

    • I was thinking something different about that picture, but I like your interpretation better. Mine was rather sad but still hopeful: how nature’s mysterious beauty survives the noisy intrusion of the business of human flourishing–or something like that, vague and dreamy. But It really is a striking photograph.

      • But you’re correct as well, nature always manages to find it’s way into, through and around man-made slights and intrusions. I was just thinking how strong willed Geraldine is from Celi’s latest posts, and I imagined her barking out orders to the group as they took charge of those puddles.

  5. I drove around the lanes here the other day, to see field after field of dead and brown plant life (probably weeds) from the chemical spraying that goes on here after they harvested every thing. Such a shame for the wild life, the bees, birds and even butterflies are still around and need to boast their intake ready for the winter. And all they have is dead, chemical killed plants !!!! Well except in my garden LOL. I do hope the new owner has the same love of animal and plants – but I must not worry about that. I will find a corner of England and take my love there!

  6. Oh, I remember the harvest dust… and noise. No wonder I’m more comfortable in the woodlands where all I hear is the whispering wind and bird conversation. 🙂 Happy day to you C.

  7. That equipment is a marvel, clearing fields in a matter of hours. I used to watch them harvest sugar beets in Michigan. another dusty affair. For better or worse, today’s mega-farms just wouldn’t be possible without them. Glad you were able to get the windows closed. Hmmm … That’s what I’ll tell my next visitor(s). “My neighbors harvested their soybeans and I left my windows open.” Don’t know what I’ll tell them at Christmas but we’ll cross that dusty bridge when we get there.

  8. The more modern the machine the faster they go. I quite like the old 1973 Massey Ferguson that pops round to do our couple of acres of grains. All done in less than 3/4s of an hour and that includes the beer, chat and payment (about $25), then the lone guy goes off over the fields to the next small farm leaving us with a trailer full of feed to get into the barn.
    Noisy and dusty it may be, but I wouldn’t want to try and harvest by hand.

      • Goats, rabbits, pigs; they all like them. We harvested about a 1.5 tonne (1.6US tons) of oats and barley from about one and a half acres of very poor clay soil without fertiliser or chemical control. That should go about half way to feeding four pigs, three goats and 100 rabbits over the year. I hope that helps not sure how your cows come into the equation, do they eat oats?

        • Only the cows I milk – they have a little grain to bring them in – otherwise they are all grass and hay.. the feed is mainly for chickens and pigs.. I am starting to seriously think of a strategy – thank you eddy.. c

  9. Lovely shot of a very pregnant Poppy. I will guess and say 6 piglets. Hope she has a safe delivery and healthy piglets. Glad that the dust and commotion didn’t last too long.

  10. The machines are so big now days it doesn’t take long. Although, we are still small it takes much longer. I always love harvest season.


  11. Modern farming machinery seems so brutal: fast, loud and massive, as well as efficient at stripping out the crop. But it doesn’t leave much for the soil to rebuild itself, by the look of it. I like our sugarcane harvesters better; they chop and mulch the green trash from the top of the cane, and return it to the ground to rot down. Miss Poppy looks extremely bulgy; I think you’re right, she can only be days off farrowing.

  12. *smile* Of course I won’t ask the obvious of why you can’t rent from your husband’s uncle directly . . . reasons, reasons . . . .As long as the soybeans were NGM . . . at least it was ‘over’ quickly! Poppy is awaiting for sure . . . but methinks ‘help’ will not come from where she is looking 🙂 !!

      • Well, not my cuppa! And the wind brings what you may not want . . . Methinks we receive a lot of lies here in Australia about stuff being nonGM, but I do hope we are learning from up north . . . love

  13. The sight of the big (expensive) combine reminds me of my neighbor’s comment. His son and the local farmer’s son were good friends. One day we saw them tooling down the road in a giant tractor. My neighbor said he thinks hard about letting his son drive his 35,000 dollar car and there the two 16 yr olds go in a 200,000 dollar tractor!

  14. Your photography is always stunning or maybe it is your artful eye. Poor little piggy hope her delivery comes soon….she is hanging low. Wishing you a super week!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: