Harvest Checklist for Yield Monitors and Yield Data
Dennis Burns: Tensas Parish County Agent
- Check that all yield monitors have a list of fields, crops and varieties stored in the memory so that field names and crop information is correct and consistent
- Always start harvest with a clean data card.
- As harvest begins check out the yield monitor and moisture sensor to make sure that they are working correctly. A diagnostic check should have already been performed prior to starting harvest.
- A moisture calibration needs to be done prior to weight calibration
- Calibration should be done after the initial start of harvest. This will ensure that the harvester is operating efficiently for the crop being harvested.
- Calibration procedures vary by yield monitor manufacturer. There are several ways to calibrate a yield monitor. The first option is to follow the yield monitor manufacturer’s directions and procedures. Another way is to cut a full truck load of grain or a module of cotton and compare its weight to the weight on the yield monitor. If this method is used the load needs to be the first load of the day. By the time a truck load has been cut there have been enough variations in speed and crop conditions to produce a reasonable calibration factor.
- Regardless of the method used to calibrate a yield monitor don’t change the calibration factor for that crop until harvest is complete or there is a large weather event or mechanical problems with the yield monitor. This will allow the producer to do a post calibration after harvest is complete.
- If multiple machines are used at harvest, calibration is essential to being able to get accurate yield data when they are combined into one yield file.
- Analysis of the yield data is the last step in the harvest process. The value of the information which can be gained from analyzing yield data is unlimited. Drainage, irrigation, fertility, variety and other production practices can be evaluated and used in planning the next year’s crop. Whether the producer does the analysis or hires it done, the value outweighs the expense.