We are getting close to harvest and there are some things that all growers need to consider when looking at how to get the most bushels off in the shape that they want. Yield is part of the income picture and we have an excellent crop coming. Quality is the other part of income and there are some things that we can do to make the quality better. There are different tools available for each crop and to learn how to make them work for your farm is critical. There are products that kill weeds, kill the crop, speed up dry-down and improve quality. Some products can do more than one of these. Knowing what is available and how to get the timing right is important for all growers. Considering if we are going to use the crop for seed is the first thing to look at. Some products will affect germination and should not be used on crops that are going to be used for seed the following year. Poor or no germination can be the result. Killing the weeds and killing the crop becomes very important with straight combining. Straight combining does not work well when there are weeds present. In peas, they cause tag because of the wetness from the weeds which results in dirt sticking to the peas as they go through the combine. This is a down-grading factor and will cost you money if it is present. In cereals, late maturing heads can be eliminated with the use of various harvest aids. Late heads will develop into small kernels and will reduce the quality of the grain sample. In cereals, there is now a product that can help improve quality through wet weather. It reduces color and protein loss when we have crop standing in extremely wet weather. Finally, killing the crop and weeds early will increase moisture available for next years crop. Speeding up dry-down of the crop is an essential tool in today’s agriculture. We have too few days to harvest and we must get the crop ready to harvest as quickly as possible. Some products dry-down the crop quicker than others. Weather and environment in general can change how quickly the crop will dry down, so having reasonable expectations as to what the harvest aid will do is important. If you understand how the harvest aid works and know what the weather is coming in the next few days, it should be fairly easy to predict when harvest will start. We have a great crop out there this year. You can make it better by using the tools that are available to all producers. The key to being successful with any harvest aid is to know what to expect from it. If you have any questions or concerns on how any of the harvest aid products can fit into your operation, give me a call.
By Dave Cubbon, P Ag