Hiistorically, the way that beans have been harvested here in Idaho, they are actually undercut and then put in a wind row and then they dry down and a grower will come in with a harvester that has a pickup unit on it that will pick up these beans that are in a wind row. This type of harvest does not come without challenges. “With dry beans and pinto beans in particular, the varieties that exist now, the pods tend to hang really close to the ground which makes it a real challenge to be able to direct cut them but there is some evidence that shows that if you are crowding these beings together they will actually grow up a little bit taller and more upright and the pods will consequently be a little further off the ground so you could actually come in and harvest them directly with a combine with a cutter on the combine. There are some farmers who have been trying to do this and have said that they have had some pretty good results with it but there are always a few little questions such as what should I do with weed control and other things. These increased populations might affect the incidence of disease as well as quality and size of the beans.”
Other dry-bean farming studies focus on the effects of seeding rates and herbicides to reduce competition from weeds and the effects of tillage on weed control and yields.