Careful Calibration Makes Sense for Data Driven Management
With fall well underway and combines rolling through the fields, we want to direct your attention to the monitor you have in your combine ready to capture that ever important harvest data. With that in mind I chatted with Kyle Stull recently and we discussed combine data and calibration. He was very excited to be working with growers to calibrate their combines properly. Preparing for harvest takes coordination and sometimes relearning what needs to be done in that monitor of yours. Kyle was very knowledgeable about the steps of calibration; he said calibrate your combine right the first time, and then again if the moisture or test weight changes. Why? Yield monitor calibration is based on the flow of grain hitting the pressure plate. By varying your speed while doing a calibration and being as close to your harvest moisture and test weight as possible to get a good reading, allows you to get as close as possible to the average rate on the pressure plate. This is important because in some monitors the calibration at the beginning on the season will be used to calculate yield all harvest long.
You only get one chance to get your harvest data a year and if you put garbage in, you will get garbage out. I know that you have probably heard that saying a thousand times, but it’s so true! By getting accurate yield data, you really open up the possibilities for management decisions for your fields. Kyle mentioned several management practices that you can implement once you have good data. Fertilizer placement based on removal for P and K, variable rate seeding and nitrogen all depend on a good calibration and the corresponding yield data. He also noted that better fertilizer placement helps on both your highly productive ground as well as the lower yielding areas by spreading fertilizer specific to those corresponding yields. As you go through the season make sure you keep Kyle’s tips in mind and be sure to have a SAFE and BOUNTIFUL HARVEST!
Bonus: Weigh wagons are available to you, so contact your Landmark Agronomist for availability!