Harvest time is a hectic time for growers. While it can hold the promise of a bountiful yield, it is also means juggling any number of tasks, from making sure you have enough boots on the ground to ensuring your equipment is working and in the field.
With all the planning, planting, spraying and marketing that goes into a growing season, it’s not uncommon for something to be overlooked come harvest time. That’s why it’s important to ensure the monitor in your combine are properly calibrated and fields are set up before you and your team head out into the field to harvest. Here’s your checklist for harvest success.
Calibrate for each crop
While no one wants to spend a lot of time mucking around with a monitor or making sure an in-cart scale is working properly, calibrating the monitor for each crop is essential before you start. Becoming more familiar with how to set up your equipment may require a little more up-front work, but it will pay off in the long run by helping you capture more accurate yield data which can then help you to better evaluate the performance of your agronomic program.
“Yield maps are only as useful as they are accurate,” says Michael Lockerbie, president of Bitstrata Systems, a Saskatoon-based company that produces the Agrimatics’ Libra Cart mobile device based grain cart weighing and data management system. “A significant problem that growers encounter relates to yield map calibration. While the relative highs and low of a map point to production efficiencies, improper equipment calibration can lead to map inaccuracies.”
The experts say calibrating your yield monitor doesn’t have to be a time-consuming procedure. Once you have the steps down, it often takes 10 minutes or less per machine to complete the process and ultimately can be just as important as checking the feeder and elevator chains in your combine. Your equipment dealer and precision ag service provider are the best resources to help make sure everything is set up correctly.
Also remember to set your monitor by selecting the right field for recording. Repeat this step and create a new job for each field. Doing these steps will help ensure your yield analysis is the most accurate.