URBANA, Ill. — Researchers from the University of Illinois and Kyoto University say they have developed a process to speed soybean harvesting without sacrificing quality.

The development means a combine operator can monitor soybean quality and make machinery adjustments on the fly.

The project’s lead scientist is Abdul Momin. He says current technology requires operators to stop periodically and manually check bean quality. This eats up crucial time during soybean harvest.

If threshing speed is too high, beans can split. Whole beans are considered to be of higher quality and bring a higher price.

But an operator has to stop and periodically check harvested beans in the tank for quality, then make adjustments.

The machine has a high-speed camera that is mounted inside the tank. It photographs beans and a computer analyzes quality.