With late planting and an up and down growing season, when the corn and soybean crops are ready to be harvested, your equipment needs to be ready, too. That includes yield monitors, sensors and wiring. Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network offers tips on prepping your equipment for the 2013 harvest.
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“Don’t wait until you’re ready to go to the field to make sure your yield monitor is working properly,” says Pat Reeg, On-Farm Network operations manager.
Reeg also recommends the following:
- Make sure you have the most current firmware installed in your yield monitor.
- Follow the pre-season checklist provided by your yield monitor manufacturer. This can be found in the manual or at the manufacturer’s website. Check the hardware, including the electrical harnesses, flow sensor, impact plate, load cell, moisture sensor, elevator speed sensor, and ground speed sensor for problems.
- Calibrate (distance, temperature, vibration, moisture, grain weight, stop height) using the calibration procedure recommended for your yield monitor. Many products tested in On-Farm Network trials have a 2-bu./acre or less break even – if you want to accurately compare treatments it is important to perform multiple calibrations across a representative range of grain flow if your monitor allows.
- Backup the raw yield data from your memory device (card, USB stick, etc.) before reading into any software packages. Once the data is cleared from your memory device it can be difficult or even impossible to acquire the data in its original format.
- Read collected yield data into your precision agriculture software on the first day of harvest to make sure everything is working properly.
- Backup your raw data periodically throughout the season. Over the years the On-Farm Network has been unable to process and summarize numerous trials due to data loss.
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