Green bean harvest underway near Arbyrd

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

ARBYRD, MO (KAIT) - All over Region 8 crops are being harvested by green, red, and yellow machines. John Deere, Case and Pixall...but what's a Pixall?  A special machine for a special crop.

Just outside Leachville/Arbyrd,  six strange looking pickers  are picking green beans. A crop that probably not many people know they even grow here in Region 8.

To grow green beans several conditions have to be met first.

Jared Brooks from Razorback Farms is overseeing the growing bean crop. "Good sandy ground, It can't hold a lot of water. Green beans don't like wet feet. It's got to be under irrigation, the climate has to be right."

As it happens potato producer Black Gold Farms outside of Arbyrd has 500 acres that meet these conditions. A potato field that usually has soybeans planted as a follow-on.

John Halverson whose family owns Black Gold stood out in the wind and watched the pickers moving over the field.

"Some of our potatoes come off a little later in July and it's too late to plant soybeans. This was a short crop that looked attractive."

Of course July and August were really hot and dry leading into the Fall. A good yield is about 4 tons an acre. This year, not so good.

Brooks, "It's been an unusually hot year here. And they had trouble getting out of the ground. That's been a contributing factor."

This is only the 3rd year that Black Gold has been raising the beans. Halverson says this is a learning process. Growing and harvesting is a team effort. Black Gold Farms raises the beans.

Halverson, "We plant them, take care of them under the guidance of Razorback. So we're the producers."

After the 60 day growing period then Razorback Farms, based out of Springdale, Arkansas which is basically a wholesaler; Brings in the harvesters.

Brooks, "We bring in our equipment, harvest.  The hauling part is all done through us and then goes to the processors." Processing may be either canning or freezing.

Brooks says he would like to see 20 loads a day come out of a field. This field near Leachville is producing about 9 loads a day each  semi load  about 50 Thousand pounds of beans.

Are there bigger bean fields in Black Gold's future? It would depend on the Spring crop up North.

Halverson, "From there is when Razorback kinda tells us their needs and we secure the line accordingly. "

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