Fine-Tune Yield Monitors To Get More Out Of Harvest

Cleaning the sensors, calibrating distance and speed and doing some homework with the owner’s manual will benefit no-tillers.

As you think about harvest, it’s a good idea to review small things that can make a big difference in your no-till operation.

One of them is calibrating your yield monitor. Doing this ensures that you’ll have accurate information from which to make better management decisions.

Among other things, a monitor that isn’t finely tuned will underestimate high-yielding areas in fields and overestimate lower-yielding areas. It’s important to calibrate at many flow rates so the processor knows how to respond to different mass-flow rates.

An accurate yield monitor also lets you build prescription maps for fertilizer and seed, potentially lowering your input costs and improving yields and profitability.

Role Of Sensors. Yield monitors determine yield by measuring the impact of the grain going across a load cell inside the top of the clean-grain elevator. Each year, test weights and grain quality can impact how the mass sensor reads the information, thus the reason for recalibrating each year.

It’s important to keep the distance between the paddles and the top of the elevator the same so the mass-flow sensor can get a consistent reading. Thus, all clean-grain elevator tightening should be done at the bottom of the elevator.

Most systems measure grain moisture from a continuous measurement of the electrical conductivity of the grain. Because conductivity in grain varies with temperature, the sensors also use temperature sensors. So it’s important to make sure the temperature sensor is working correctly.

Do this by leaving a thermometer on the sensor throughout an afternoon…

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Leverich_jim

Jim Leverich

Jim Leverich no-tills near Sparta, Wis., and serves as an onfarm research coordinator for the University of Wisconsin.

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