And the soybean harvest comes to an end

A couple of interesting things about this. First, I was on Tilghman Island at the end of September, when I heard a roaring engine so loud that I thought something was going to fall from the sky on top of me. I whipped out my camera, and caught a couple of shots of a crop duster, banking heavy curves right over downtown Tilghman. It was flying LOW.

Of course, I was the only person reacting. The locals just went on about their business, appearing to not even notice the screaming engine and extra loud buzz. I wondered about it, but it wasn’t until the second time I saw a crop duster, this time a few weeks later, right in our yard in Bozman, that I began to ask questions.

Turns out that the crop dusting planes this time of year weren’t spreading pesticides, but seed. Cover crops are increasingly applied in this manner – at a certain point in the soybean harvest, the crop dusters fly over, drop the seed, and it grows up through the slowly drying soybeans. As the soybeans dry with reduced biomass, light and water penetrate down to the soil, and when it comes time for harvest, the cover crop has had a great start.

Who knew?

The last few soybean fields in Bay Hundred are being harvested this week, a good month after the corn harvest. The bare fields make it easy to spot fox, cruising fields for prey. What happens to the soybeans from our region is a topic for another day. I even hesitated to tag this post “food”, since we know that significant amounts of our soybeans end up in industrial applications, not as food.  Soybeans are the United States’ largest agricultural export, with more than half of beans grown here going abroad, to China, Mexico, India and the European Union.

But for this day, noticing the seasonal changes is the point. Fields shifting, brown crops being removed and new green ones emerging. The big cycle continues.

~ by kbosin on November 30, 2011.

One Response to “And the soybean harvest comes to an end”

  1. Ya learn something everyday….thanks, Kathy!

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