Every pod counts: optimizing combine headers to minimize soybean losses


There is a significant amount of time, care, and work that is put into growing a soybean crop. So, why wouldn’t a farmer try to minimize losses at harvest?

Lorne Grieger of the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) recently joined RealAgriculture’s Lyndsey Smith to discuss managing losses at harvest. As he explains in the interview below, the bottom pod is the profit pod and it’s worth taking the extra time and effort on header selection and settings.

PAMI-conducted research has compared header types and the impact on harvest losses. Grieger notes that in tests, “the draper headers, especially as speeds increased, had lower losses across the board for that, for the draper head that we were working with.”

According to the study, an air system has been found to have a significant effect on decreasing header losses for both header types. Grieger says that in their tests, they saw about “a bushel and a half difference by adding an air system on to an auger header, per acre.”

Operator speed and technique also plays an important role, and we know the person behind the wheel has the most control over that. So by adjusting machines, they can impact losses through the machine; but as Greiger explains, you of course have to get the crop into the head first.

Making sure the knife angle is set low enough also plays into this — and capturing the bottom pods without skipping over them will also help reduce losses.

Check out the full conversation between Grieger and Smith, below:

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