In the rush to button up bins, shelter grain carts and trucks and wrap up fall tillage, it can be easy to forget the combine you pulled into the shed after covering those last few acres. Set aside some time to prepare it for long-term storage. It’s good for your equipment, and you’ll be quicker to the field next year.
These days, fall tillage is as much a part of harvest as crisp, frosty mornings and meals served in the combine cab. It’s a critical step in maximizing returns from today’s top-yielding crop genetics. To get there, you must set up your tillage equipment to accomplish all it’s designed to do.
When everything’s rolling along smoothly during the heat of harvest, it’s tough to tempt fate. But precision-farming equipment isn’t set-it-and-forget-it technology. So, even if your preharvest preparation was thorough, it’s likely time for a checkup.
No matter where or what you farm, harvest concerns and challenges revolve around similar themes: weather, prices, yields and, of course, more weather. The far West and Pacific Northwest are no different.
Wet fields hindering harvest across large swaths of the Northern Plains have many farmers searching for a way to dry their fields. Although there’s no quick fix, one potential solution is to improve moisture management throughout the growing season by helping it move deeper in the soil profile.
Crop residue brings a long list of benefits to your fields. Crop residue also can bring numerous challenges to your fields. The steps you take this fall can help you maximize the value of this year’s residue while helping ensure a fast, uniform start for next year’s crop.
From the header on your combine to the service trailer behind your pickup and from the overhead wires across the end of your driveway to the soles on your work boots, nearly every aspect of harvest contributes to your safety. Make sure you give each detail the attention it deserves.
It’s important to glean more than grain during harvest. You’re likely already gathering precision farming data. When you supplement that information with notes and observations from the combine cab and at ground level, the additional knowledge can help you make productive adjustments heading into 2017.
You can gain a lot of insight from the combine seat. It’s a good primer — and good balance — for what you learn from your office chair as you analyze the data. But first, you need to ensure you’re collecting accurate data.
This fall, as you gather your crops, note your observations and collect the data you’ll need to make decisions about next year, it’s important to avoid damaging your fields in ways that can cause long-term losses.