It is harvest time in Champaign, Illinois!
We got the amazing opportunity to ride in a combine with farmer, Rick Hansens! Thankfully, this one had air conditioning – in the old days there wasn’t glass to protect you from the dust, and cool you from the hot, hot sun! Moving at about 3.5 miles per hour, the front of the combine has what looks like little scissors that chop the stalks of the bean plant before pulling them into the center of the combine. From there, it strips the pod off, freeing the tiny beans! After they are seperated, they are dumped into the hopper that is behind the cab we were sitting in – you can watch it filling up through the glass, as we moved along the field! What happens when the hopper is full, you ask? Well, in this case, Rick’s son, Jason pulled up along side of the combine, and an auger empties the bountiful beans and shoots them into a wagon being pulled by Jason’s tractor. From there, they get put into huge transport trucks.
The amazing part is that before we had come at the end of the day, they had filled TWO SEMI -TRUCK LOADS of beans! It was really cool to see what happened inside when the combines rolled through the field collecting those thousands of pounds of grain, so in other words the ride was what some people would say: AWESOME SAUCE!!!