Thinking About Your Harvest Schedule – Soybeans
The beautiful and hectic season of harvest is just around the corner and will be here soon. Before it begins, take the time to think about factors (other than the weather) that may influence your harvesting schedule in order to maximize efficiency and profitability. For soybeans these include –
- Weed Seeds – The best way to reduce weeds in the future is to reduce the number of weed seeds that make it into the seed bank. Weather conditions this season have led to a very high number of escapes and weedy fields. Scout each field to understand weed pressure. Fields, or areas of fields, with severe pressure should be combined last if possible to reduce spreading weed seeds to uninfested areas. If harvesting through high weed pressure is required, taking time to clean/blow out the combine in between fields would be beneficial as well. This is especially critical if herbicide resistance is thought to have played a part in weed pressure – nothing spreads weeds seeds as well as a combine! Taking time to note weed escapes will also help you plan for choosing herbicide traits in the future.
- Harvest at the correct moisture –The most profitable moisture for harvesting soybeans is 13%. According to University of Nebraska – Lincoln, when selling soybeans at a moisture of 8%, you are losing about 5.43% of your yield; at 9% moisture, that loss is 4.4% compared to a 13% moisture harvest. For a field that yields 60 bushels an acre at 13%, harvesting at 9% returns 2.6 bu/ac less to your bottom line.
- Continue to Scout – Diseases such as Soybean White Mold (SWM) and Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome are prevalent this season. Make sure to take notice and document where you see these diseases so that you and your Jacobsen Seed Representative can make the best seed choices when the field goes back to soybeans in the future. Technology such as Climate FieldView can help you do this as well by allowing you to use GPS points to track anomalies in the field. Fields or areas of fields with heavy SWM pressure should be harvested last if possible because the disease can be spread by the movement of fruiting bodies called sclerotia.
- Don’t let safety take a back seat – When harvests get long and stressful, don’t forget to check machinery thoroughly, be aware of your surroundings, and don’t rush unnecessarily. Safety is the number one priority!