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8 Essential Tips for Iowa's 2023 Harvest

8 Essential Tips for Iowa's 2023 Harvest

By Andi Anderson

As Iowa gears up for the 2023 harvest season, there are some unique challenges to consider. Grain moisture levels can vary from field to field and even within the same field. Additionally, the persistent drought conditions and rapidly accumulating growing degree days are causing grain to become overly dry. To help you maximize your yield and minimize potential losses, here are some important tips:

  1. Start with Fields with Weak Stalks: Begin harvesting fields with weak or falling stalks. This will prevent stalks from getting tangled and improve the efficiency of the harvesting process.
  2. Adjust Your Combine Regularly: Keep a close eye on your combine settings and make adjustments as needed, especially when you move from one field to another. Inspect the combine parts for wear and tear, and ensure all sensors are working correctly.
  3. Combine Header Settings:
  4. For corn, set the deck plates to create a slight taper from the front to the back. The gap between the plates should be slightly narrower at the front.
  5. For soybeans, make sure the cutterbar is in good condition, and the cutting parts are sharp.
  6. Threshing and Separation Adjustments: Dry grain is brittle and can easily break. Adjust the gap between the rotor and concave to minimize damage. Lower the rotor speed as soybeans become drier.
  7. Fan Speed and Sieve Adjustments: The fan's speed and sieve settings play a crucial role in separating grain from chaff. Match the fan's airspeed with the incoming crop to ensure efficient separation.
  8. Check Harvest Losses: Regularly assess the losses during harvesting. Follow guidelines for measuring losses to determine if the combine adjustments are working well.
  9. Manage Grain Quality: Before long-term storage, remove the central core of lower-quality grain. Quickly aerate the bins to cool down warm grain. Keep records of grain quality for each bin. 10. Consider Grain Toxins: Be mindful of the potential risk of grain toxins, especially in Eastern Iowa. If you're using the grain for livestock feed, think about sending samples for analysis at a certified lab.

These simple tips will help you navigate the unique challenges of the 2023 harvest season, ensuring you get the most out of your yield while maintaining grain quality and addressing any concerns about toxins.


Photo Credit: gettyimages-fotokostic

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Categories: Iowa, Harvesting

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