Most reports indicate a strong winter wheat crop. That’s not going to help grain prices. All the more reason why you need to do everything possible to bring home every kernel. A preharvest combine inspection is the best place to start.
Proper combine preparation can help reduce yield losses, preserve grain quality and reduce downtime. In its Harvesting Wheat publication, Kansas State University Extension suggests you aim for no more than 2 percent grain loss when harvesting standing wheat under good conditions. That’s 1 bushel per acre on a 50-bushel-per-acre wheat crop. The work you do before your combine leaves the farm can go a long way toward helping you achieve that goal.
When preparing your combine for harvest, first up on your checklist should be a review of your operators manual. It provides the maintenance procedures for removing your combine from storage; tolerances for chain, belt and sprocket wear; and initial settings for wheat harvest. Change fluids and filters according to schedule. If you didn’t lubricate your machine before parking it postharvest, be sure to do so now.
- Video inspection tips
- Combine productivity tips
- Downloadable inspection checklists — the same ones used by your Case IH dealer
- Access to our online parts store
Prepping for wheat harvest often comes at a time when other crop-related tasks have your attention. If you don’t feel you have the time or, perhaps, the mechanical skills necessary to ready your combine for harvest, consider a Case IH Certified Maintenance Inspection. Because Case IH technicians use Certified Maintenance Inspection checklists for each inspection, you can rest assured that service is thorough and nothing is overlooked. Upon completion, your Case IH dealership will place a Certiﬁed Maintenance Inspection decal on your equipment, distinguishing your commitment to keep your combine running in peak condition. Not only does annual maintenance support productivity in the ﬁeld, each decal symbolizes a completed inspection — which may increase the resale value of your equipment.
No matter how you choose to go about preparing your combine for wheat harvest, work closely with your Case IH dealer. The experts there can advise you on the necessary maintenance steps, ensure you have the right parts and answer your questions. A combine that’s in top condition before it rolls into that first golden wheat field gives you the best chance at the most efficient harvest possible.