By Brad Krajewski, Technical Seed Manager, CROPLAN® seed
As you are near or in the thick of harvest — depending on your geography — you are no doubt busy with a million different things. But is there anything you can do to help ensure an orderly corn harvest? Here are some tips that could help you keep things on track.
1. Make sure your equipment is prepped and ready.
Have your machines serviced or repaired if necessary, in place and ready to go. This includes your combine, tractor, grain cart, trucks, augers and bins. Harvest has a way of sneaking up on us, and there’s nothing more frustrating than having your crop ready for harvest and your equipment not running.
2. Know your marketing strategy and plan accordingly.
For example, if you have a contract to fill at a particular grain elevator, what is your plan for taking corn from a field that’s closer to that destination versus filling your own grain bin with corn from a field that’s closer to home? Knowing the logistics about what contracts you need to deliver on, what other opportunities you might want to take advantage of and what your plans are for the rest of your crop is important to have mapped out.
Crop characteristics also can impact your marketing plan. Do you have nearby feed lots that want high-moisture corn? An ethanol plant that wants drier corn? Do you have hybrids that meet food-grade qualifications? Here in the Gothenberg/Cozad area of Nebraska, for example, we have a list of food-grade hybrids that a leading snack manufacturer accepts. Do you have corn that could fit the need if someone calls looking for more grain to fill contracts? Know what your options are and how you can optimize your marketing efforts.
3. Calibrate your yield monitor.
Accuracy matters for a couple of reasons. First, if you’re using your data to evaluate hybrid performance or to do a fertility trial, for example, making sure your monitor is calibrated correctly will give you the most accurate results and help you make the best determination on how a particular product performed in your fields.
Second, data accuracy is critical if you are using that data to make prescriptions for future years; for instance, using a yield map to make a planting prescription or fertility prescription. Accurate yield results allow you to create prescriptions based on what the populations, hybrid selection, or other factors might be going forward.
Calibrating a yield monitor takes…