Neighbors harvest friend's beans

Friday, November 2, 2001

Good friends willingly lend a helping hand. Great friends throw in six harvesters and a half-dozen trucks.

Bob Nitsch, a former president of the Missouri Farm Bureau and an area farmer, has some great friends.

When an illness hospitalized Nitsch recently, he was worried about 130 acres of soybeans in the Diversion Channel area.

A big rain or a sudden rise in the Mississippi River could wipe out the crop.

Nitsch's friends were way ahead of him, pitching in with an old-fashioned "harvesting bee" earlier this week.

With Gerald Bryan, Cape County Extension agronomist, and Gayle King, a retired extension agronomist, heading the charge, the threshing bee was quickly formed.

Seven more joined in: David Schwab and his brother Roger, along with Truman Birk and John Peters, all of Jackson, Mo.; and from the Gordonville area came Stanley Propst, Larry Quade and David Joe Wessell. They showed up at the Nitsch soybean patch with harvesters at 10 a.m. Monday.

A couple of tractor-trailer trucks were provided by Art Bodenstein of Gordonville, and Straightway Farm Service, with driver Harlan Siebert of Jackson, and other trucks came from Robert Voges and Bob Klaproth of Jackson, and Andy Seyer of Oak Ridge, Mo.

"This was a sight to behold," King said. "Six soybean harvesters in a row, cutting a swatch of 142 feet at a time. By noon, the soybeans were harvested and had been delivered to market."

Extra help came from the Jackson Co-op Service Center provided fuel for the machinery and the MFA and U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson's offices provided a lunch. And Vernon Miller, former co-op manager, was there to help everybody.

For Nitsch, it was a payback. In the spring, Nitsch had planted a crop for an ailing farmer.

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