Dry beans are in high demand and have turned around at R12 500 per ton this season. For every bean that splits out of a harvester’s gut, a farmer can see his pennies disappear. That is why it is so important for a bean farmer to use a specialist bean harvester that is designed not to rob the sensitive beans of their value. The few rands that the machine might cost more are recovered over and over again with the higher price that unbroken beans fetch.

Gideon Anderson of Sunflower Farming outside Middelburg is currently president of Mpumalanga Agricultural Union and is now at the end of his third term as national chairman of the DPO (Dry Bean Producers’ Organization). He believes in using only the best tools on his farm.

That’s why he bought two of Colombo Industries’ Brazil’s Double Master 2 bean harvesters more than seven years ago, which still brings their side today. Based on this excellent performance, he decided last year to get serious and acquire the older brother. That’s why he bought the Double Master 5 last year.

“I have been farming with beans for 21 years now and have used a variety of harvesters,” says Gideon. “The Double Masters undoubtedly produces the smallest percentage of split beans and since I harvested with them, the buyers no longer have a lever on me to enforce my prices, because my beans pass the specifications by leaps and bounds.

“We got the Double Master 5 specially because it can pick up two rows of wind at once and can therefore work twice as fast as the Double Master 2, which works wonders for our short harvest window. On top of that, you need a tractor of only 100 kW, ”says Kirch Müller, Gideon’s farm manager. They harvested 460 hectares of beans this season and with the three machines they thresh about 80 tons per day.

The harvester picks up the material with blade-shaped fingers, which then pass it to a large worm that gently feeds the bean or peanut material to the mouth of the harvester to enter the central drum. Special curved pins at the edges of the drum’s worm break open the shells and push the beans through holes to the vibrating belly of the harvester.

The perforated belly shakes the beans backwards so that they are fed to the last worm while getting rid of any troublesome soil and stones. A last screw throws it into a bakkie lift that transports it into the wooden tank that can hold 3.5 tons of beans. A free-hanging worm in the tank gently moves the beans away from the bakkie elevator to fill the tank evenly.
The residues are fed simultaneously through two export pipes at different locations; one to blow out the lighter, finer material like dust, and one to blow out the chaff on the fields for later bale. A new, convenient and cool feature of the Double Master 5 is that you can turn around at the tip of the land while the harvester continues to thirst. The universal gearbox drive is now responsible for keeping the gearbox speed from the tractor constant at all times.

Christo Prinsloo from AGSOL in Middelburg was recently appointed as Valtrac’s agent, but if an extraordinary problem arises, Valtrac’s people rush to our special help from the head office in Paris, ”says Kirch. This means that “standing time” is a word that is extremely rarely heard near a Double Masterbon harvester.

Attie de Villiers is the man from Valtrac who can ensure that you can get the maximum profit out of your bone crop next season. Contact him at 083-261-9863, 056-817-7308 or attiedev@valtrac.co.za.