By Mike Staton
Soybean harvest losses may increase this fall due to the drought and heavy spider mite populations. Techniques and equipment that reduce harvest losses will be discussed and demonstrated at the upcoming Soybean Harvest Equipment Field Day and Plot Tour.
On average, harvest losses reduce marketable soybean yields by 5%. Due to the drought and heavy two-spotted spider mite infestations, harvest losses may be significantly higher this fall. The drought has reduced overall plant height and the height of the lowest pods on the plants. Both of these conditions increase the potential for gathering losses at the combine head. The pods will be more brittle so shatter losses are also more likely to occur in fields that have been stressed by spider mites.
Because of this, Michigan State University Extension is cooperating with Welden Farms, Godfrey Brothers Inc., Wells Equipment Sales Inc., Burnips Equipment Company, Crary Industries and the Michigan Soybean Checkoff to conduct a Soybean Harvest Equipment Field Day and Plot Tour on Thursday, Sept. 20. The field day will be held rain or shine at the Welden Farm near Jonesville, Mich., and will begin with a tour of local research trials at 11 a.m. The field day site is located at 9551 Cranberry Lake Road. This is 0.5 miles south of Litchfield Road and 2.5 miles north of M-99.
Participants will learn new information about reducing soybean harvest losses, view two SMaRT (Soybean Management and Research Technology) research trials and have an opportunity to see the latest harvest equipment demonstrated in the field. Equipment company representatives will be on-hand to discuss specific recommendations for fine-tuning their combines. The following topics and equipment will be demonstrated: John Deere, New Holland and Case IH combines equipped with draper heads; a combine equipped with an air-assisted reel; harvest loss measurements; and John Deere and Case IH combines equipped with auger flex heads.
There is no charge for the field day. However, pre-registration is requested by calling 269-673-0370 ext. 27 before noon on Tuesday, September 18, as a complimentary lunch and educational materials will be provided.
Staton writes for Michigan State University Extension