Harvest Time – Update from SE Iowa
Harvest is progressing nicely here in southeastern Iowa. The bean crop is all but finished and corn harvesting is in full swing. It was a very rainy growing season but the yields are still respectable. Earlier in the season, when crop scouting, it appeared that yields were going to be below the normal county average, but as it turns out the yields have been surprisingly good.
The Ag Leader® Integra display in the combine is again proving to be a very valuable tool. Earlier in the harvest season there was a large moisture difference between hybrids. In order to minimize our drying costs we used the yield monitor moisture readings to find and harvest the drier hybrids. Our maps also showed us the acres of each hybrid which quickly told us the storage that was needed for the drier corn. As in many operations, managing storage bins, tractors, augers and semis is a busy task and having a display that immediately tells us the acres and moisture allows us to maximize storage, be efficient at harvesting, and minimize drying cost. The display is also showing us results that we have been anxiously waiting for all season. Different planting population blocks have shown smaller than expected yield differences while side-dressing nitrogen has shown to impressively boost yield more than expected.
One unexpected use of the Ag Leader Integra display this year was to check the weight from a new grain cart. Yeah, that is worded correctly. I said used the display to check the weight on a new grain cart. Here is how the story unfolded. We are very particular about calibrating our yield monitor, thus during the first week of harvest we accomplished this task and monitored it continuously with our old grain cart. Then the dealer called and said our new grain cart was ready. We asked him if the grain cart scale was calibrated and he said this would be done for us, but I was doubtful. Then when the first load was put into the new grain cart we checked it against the combine display, there was a 20 lbs difference on 58,000 lbs. A day later it worked out that we took corn to a certified scale and checked all the weights again, but for the first day it was nice to be confident when loading semis and filling bins. No matter how you use your yield monitor and combine display during harvest, stay safe and remember to take time for the details. Those details are what will improve your management in the coming years.
Author's Note: Michael Vos is in his tenth year at Ag Leader, and as the Software Sales Manager, he works with key domestic and international dealers, and sales representatives promoting the use of software to find answers from precision ag information. He was born and raised on a farm in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and graduated from Iowa State with a degree in Ag Systems Technology and Agronomy minor. Away from work, he operates a 2000 acre and 5000 head hog operation in southeast Iowa.