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Tips to Maximize Your Soybean Harvest

October 17, 2017
This agronomic image shows soybeans.

The weather is getting cooler and soybean pods have turned to their mature tan color. Here are several tips to keep in mind:

  • Monitor moisture levels: According to North Dakota State University, the ideal seed moisture to harvest soybeans is 13%. If you harvest when the moisture is too low, you can lose percentages of your yield and your bottom line. Growers should begin harvesting at 14 or 15% moisture level.
  • Check combine settings frequently and change as needed to specific field characteristics: Iowa State University Extension says proper combine settings will maximize quality while minimizing machine field losses. Take time to adjust the settings one by one to change things like the cleaning fan speed, sieve openings and cylinder speed.
  • Harvest when the weather is optimum: Be aware of varying moisture levels, which can increase or decrease based on the weather and time of day, such as overnight dew or high wind conditions. It’s also best to avoid harvesting during a hot afternoon when the beans are driest, to reduce shattering loss.
  • Use a harvest aid when appropriate: Using a herbicide like Gramoxone® SL 2.0 can help increase combine efficiency and speed, while decreasing equipment wear and tear. Gramoxone SL 2.0 keeps the combine running smoothly by reducing foreign matter and controlling weeds, and it also stays effective in cool, wet conditions.

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