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Six Tips for a Smooth-sailing Harvest

by Sep 19, 2018Yield Monitoring

Despite some excess late-season moisture in some areas, the fall harvest season is right around the corner for many around the Midwest. Most farmers fall into one of two categories — they’ve either fully embraced the looming season, pumpkin spice latte in hand, and have already gotten the combine out and prepped, or they’re grasping onto the last few days of summer and ignoring the changing color of the fields. Either way, it’s important for growers to prepare their Ag Leader displays in advance of hitting the fields this fall. Here are six easy steps to ensure a smooth season ahead.

STEP ONE: INVESTIGATE

Check over the system. Look at cabling for damage such as cuts, severe crimps and/or bends. At the top of the clean grain elevator, pull the flow sensor and look at the foam material between the impact plate and the housing: has it been chewed on? Exposed wires? If so, you will likely want to replace the sensor. Look at the impact plate on the flow sensor for excessive wear. Check the deflector plate in the clean grain elevator and check the paddle height. The paddle height should be 5/8’’ to 1/2’’ from top of paddle to the clean grain elevator for most combines. If anything looks suspect, call your Ag Leader dealer. If possible, after the harvest season, pull the flow sensor and store it in a sealed location to prevent rodent damage.

STEP TWO: UPDATE

Update the display to the newest firmware version. Not only will displays run best, but updating firmware will also provide the most recent feature upgrades. Also, be sure to make a backup of the display at this time. 

STEP THREE: PREPARE

If using connectivity tools of InCommand® and AgFiniti®, all displays connected to DisplayCast® are automatically updated with field boundaries, guidance lines, machine configurations and planting and application maps. Otherwise, be sure to load any missing information manually.

STEP FOUR: CONNECT

An internet connection is needed to take advantage of many InCommand and AgFiniti features. Being connected means you can access satellite imagery, sharing information between displays and devices, backing up information, exporting to AgFiniti, and more right from the field. Bringing internet to the cab is easy! Use an existing cellular data plan and connect through a dedicated modem or tablet hotspot.

STEP FIVE: MANAGE

Make more informed management decisions. With InCommand and AgFiniti, the power is in-hand to be successful. With more information year-over-year, make clearer decisions and improve profit margins.

STEP SIX: CALIBRATE

A quality calibration is the most important step for harvest to ensure accurate yield data. Calibration ensures overall yield monitor accuracy and quality of data for each operation. The following steps apply to InCommand firmware version 2.5 and above.

PRE-SEASON

  • Set the header stop height per each harvested crop
  • Perform the vibration calibration with the header on the combine
  • Update the temperature calibration number
  • Perform the distance calibration

IN-SEASON

MOISTURE

Take a handheld sample from three to five locations in a hopper load. Average and update the moisture reading in the display if needed.

WEIGHT CALIBRATION

  • One calibration load process: Capture a calibration load at full swath width and at normal harvesting speeds.
  • Two calibration load process: Capture one calibration load at full swath width and normal operating speeds, capture another load at half swath width OR at half ground speed.
  • Additional calibration loads: Harvest at incremental speed/flow range changes excluding first and second calibration load ranges

This article was originally published in the fall edition of Insights Magazine

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