I’ve seen more people walking beans and had more comments about it than I can remember in a long time. Perhaps it's time for Greg Brown to re-release his classic ‘Walking the Beans’, first released on ‘The Iowa Waltz’ album in 1981.
My favorite verse of the song, and the chorus:
Bandana on my head, I got a long-handled hoe in my hand,
You know people are afraid of hell and now I understand.
'Cause I can picture some devil from that land below,
And he's a-pushin' pigweed up from under every row I just hoed.
I been walkin' the beans, been walkin' the beans.
I been bendin' low, no, no,
I been rippin' my jeans.
Been walkin' the beans in the burnin' sun,
And it looks like I ain't ever ever gonna get done.
Hand weeding is not the answer to current problems with herbicide resistant weeds, but there are situations where it can be worth the cost and effort. Scenarios where hand-weeding might be considered include fields with small patches of weed escapes, especially if it is suspected that the weeds survived due to the presence of herbicide resistance previously not found in the field. Another scenario would be the presence of a new weed species in a field where it previously hadn't been a problem, such as giant ragweed or Palmer amaranth.