1. Add Round Bar Inserts to Thresh Green Pods
Improve threshing of green bean pods by adding a concave insert in the first 5 slots to reduce the size of material allowed to flow through.
The problem is as simple as opening between the round bars in the concaves allowing unbroken pods through. The solution is not necessarily as drastic as replacing the expensive concaves and provides more flexibility when switching from corn to soybeans. The Deere parts BH84294 BH84308 snap into the belly of the threshing chamber fitting snugly between the round bars reducing the size of the gap to accurately fit only a fully threshed soybean through the space. Marion uses 5 inserts in his S680 combined in the first five concave slots. Six has been tested and shown in our tests to be the diminishing point of returns, so don’t feel obligated to use your full set. Your local Deere dealer may not even know of the part and its application because the tendency is to recommend different concaves, instead of looking for the smaller problem, and easier solution.
2. Start Downwind and Pick Upwind
Start harvesting on the downwind side. The wind will help spread straw away from uncut soybeans. In case of fire, the wind will blow the threat away from the standing crop.
Before you enter the field, consider the direction in which you harvest. Marion recommends harvesting on the downwind side of the field to maximize the benefit of Mother Nature. Harvesting on the downwind side of a field helps spread soybean straw away from uncut soybeans, as well as hinders any fire that might accidentally occur. If a fire does occur, the wind will blow it away from the uncut crop.
3. Use 3-Inch Sickles for Maximum Bean Head Performance
Choosing 3-inch sickle bars helps avoid plugging. The wider sickles allow residue to flow better and result in a cleaner cut in no-till or higher-residue environments.
Bean Head Sickles: Marion recommends running 3-inch sickle bars to allow residue to flow better in no-till or higher-residue environments.
One of the helpful tweaks you can make before soybean harvest is ensuring the right size of sickles is installed on your bean head. Whether you run red, green, yellow, or grey, running a three-inch sickle (that’s the distance between the two snake heads) will help prevent plugging when encountering last year’s root balls during your corn-soybean rotation. With a two-inch sickle, the root ball will temporarily bridge over the snake heads and push forward over uncut bean stalks.
4. Choosing Between Draper vs. Auger Fed Bean Heads
Draper heads perform better than auger-fed platforms in all conditions. Watch the video to learn why.
Marion believes that draper platforms perform better than auger-fed platforms in all crop conditions.
5. Adjust Cross Auger Settings on Auger-Fed Bean Heads
Finely tune your cross auger with a 1/16-inch clearance between the flighting and tray to reduce grain damage.
Set soybean cross to have 1/16-inch clearance between the flighting and the tray at the tightest point.
Marion recommends setting the cross auger as tight as possible to close down the gap at the front of the auger to efficiently pull material away from the sickles and convey it toward the feeder house.
6. Adjust Feeder House Chain for Soybean Harvest
Extend the feeder house chain so the chain is as close as possible to the auger or draper belt to improve the hand-off of material from the platform to the feeder house.
7. Synchronize Reel Speed
Synchronize reel speed to ground speed. Reel speed RPM should be 10 times the ground speed. Example: 4 MPH ground speed = 40 RPM on reel speed. Place a piece of tape or paint a reel tip to count revolutions per minute on the reel.
Thinking through the best-bean reel speed you can visually watch it as you’re going down through the field to find the best settings. One of the things I do to make it easier is to use a spray can or a piece of duct tape to put a visual marker on one arm of the reel. Then from the cab, you can count the revolutions as you sit on the end rows. The rule of thumb you are looking for is 10 times ground speed. So if you’re running three and a half miles an hour I would count to set the reel at 35 revolutions per minute.
8. Reduce Cracked Soybeans with Refined Rotor Speed
Increase rotor speed until the first cracked soybean appears in the grain tank, then slow down by 10 RPM. The status of the crop will determine speed, so re-check as field conditions change.
Reduce cracked or split soybeans in the sample by refining your combine’s rotor speed.
Adjustment: Increase rotor speed until the first cracked soybeans appear in the grain tank, then slow down by 10 RPM.
9. Set Combine Conclave Clearance for a Better Soybean Harvest
Concave Clearance: Open until rotor loss occurs then close slightly.
10. Install Concave Cover Plates to Efficiently Thresh Soybeans
Improve the threshing power of green soybean pods by installing concave inserts, filler bars or filler plates in the first 12 inches of the concave. This allows for green pods to rub against green pods, significantly reducing un-threshed pods in the tank.
By adding cover plates in the first 12 inches, green beans are able to rub against other beans, which helps them open up. Without cover plates, bean pods fall directly into the auger bed, forcing them to be re-threshed.
11. Understand and Set Fan Speed for Soybeans
Increase speed until all pod hulls have left the grain tank sample, then slow down by 50 RPM.
Fan Speed Settings: Increase fan speed until all pod hulls have left the grain tank sample then slow down by 50 RPM.
Take time to look at the foreign material that is in the tank. If the material is smaller than the single yellow soybean that means the only way to remove it from the combine is through the airstream.
Marion decreases the fan speed until some trash starts to show up in the grain tank and then he speeds up the fan a bit. Just be conscious to not set the fan speed too fast or it will blow some soybeans out the back of the combine. If the chaffer becomes overloaded, you will need a lot of air to get those stems and pods to blow out the back of the combine and allow the beans to drop through the sieves.
12. Set Bottom Sieve
Run the bottom sieve wide open to let air flow to the top sieve.
13. Top Sieve (Front Portion) Settings for Soybean Harvest
Close the front portion of the top sieve until the grain tank has 99% clean soybeans.
14. Top Sieve (Back Portion) Tailings Elevator
Close the rear portion of the top sieve until un-threshed pods start going over the back, then open up 1/8-inch to allow them to fall into the return auger. Check your tailings elevator using a kill-stop examination to determine exactly what's happening.
15. Setting Case IH Combine Transport Vanes
Adjust transport vanes to the advanced position (bottom of the vanes to the front of the combine). This reduces the bleeding of horsepower and the amount of fodder and stems that fall through the rotor cage and onto the top sieve.
Adjust transport vanes to the advanced position when cutting soybeans (bottom of the vane facing toward the front of the combine). This reduces the bleeding of the horsepower and the amount of fodder and stems a.k.a. material other than grain (MOG) that fall through the rotor cage and onto the top sieve.
16. Tips for Harvesting Soybeans with a John Deere Combine