by: Mike Estadt, OSU Extension Educator
After a rainy Farm Science Review, farmers took to the fields last week to begin harvest of corn and soybeans. Reports around the state indicate a soybean crop that is surprisingly dry. August weather conditions played a role in the rapid dry down of both corn and soybeans. Extension educators from around the state reported in this week’s Crop Observation Recommendation Network call and social media posted cab videos, confirm very good soybean yields and harvest moistures under 10% in many incidences.
With these extremely dry crop conditions farmers can experience economic losses during harvest. The first and most obvious loss is what’s left in the field from Gathering Unit Loss, by way of shattering of the soybean pods, low pod set beans that remain attached to stubble, and soybeans that pass through the combine through cylinder and separation loss. This can range anywhere from 5% to 20% depending upon the year. Reducing this as little as 3% to 4% can make a difference to the bottom line. 1
When a farmer delivers soybeans to the elevator, if the moisture is higher than 13% there is a penalty in the form of moisture shrink, that deducts from the final bushel calculation. So, what is the penalty for delivering soybeans that are too dry? That simply is the lost dry matter (bushels) that was sacrificed by not harvesting earlier and capturing that moisture.
If I could show you how to gain an extra profit of $23.98 per acre by harvesting soybeans at 13% instead of 10% with 60-bushel beans and a cash price of $12.00 would you read the following article from the Crop Watch Newsletter from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln? This is a very well written article to help you gather more beans from the field as well as deliver more bushels to the elevator by managing harvest moisture.
Harvest Soybeans At 13% Moisture Nebraska Copwatch Newsletter by Thomas Dorn, Extension Educator. https://cropwatch.unl.edu/harvest-soybeans-13-moisture
1. Beasley, E.O. Reduce Soybean Harvest Loss. North Carolina Cooperative Extension. http://ipm.ncsu.edu/soybeans/agronomy/soybean_loss.html