Harvest: Harvest has begun for some with soybeans, seed corn, and silage. For all of us as we’re on the roads, please be alert and slow down. It’s also important to talk about safety with teens who drive. With it being so dry, gravel roads are extra dusty, reducing visibility. It can be helpful to turn on headlights and be sure to slow down at intersections. On highways, slow down when coming upon slow-moving equipment. And, be aware of equipment turning. Here’s wishing everyone a safe harvest!
Nebraska Public Power District, Rural Radio, Center for Ag Safety and Health, and Nebraska Extension are teaming up to share on harvest safety with the Harvest Safety Tour. Power line, ATV, and grain bin safety demos will be on display and a free lunch will be served September 9th from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the big parking lot at the York County Fairgrounds. For more information call 877-ASK-NPPD.
Early and mid-group two soybeans rapidly turned last week and may be drier than one realizes in spite of having green stems. Every year it’s a challenge to harvest close to 13% moisture. There’s a dock for delivering wet beans. While not a dock, delivering soybeans below 13% moisture reduces profits because there’s fewer bushels to sell (load weight divided by 60 lbs/bu assuming 13% moisture). Selling soybeans at 8% moisture, you’re losing about 5.43% yield; at 9% moisture, it’s 4.4%; at 10% moisture, 3.3%; at 11% moisture, 2.25%; and at 12% moisture, it’s 1.14% yield loss. That doesn’t take into account additional risk for shatter losses during harvest. The following are two profit examples:
Example 1: Based on the elevator dockage numbers obtained, if the grower was to sell beans at 13.8% moisture, he/she would be docked 3% of the selling price of $8.75/bu, reducing the actual price to $8.49 per bushel. Total income per acre would be: 75 bu/ac yield x $8.49/bu = $636.75 per acre gross
Example 2. If the soybeans were harvested at 9% moisture, there would be 3.3 fewer bushels per acre to sell (4.4% of 75 bu/ac yield due to water loss): 75 bu/ac – 3.3 bu/ac =71.7 bu/ac yield x $8.75 = $627.38 per acre gross
In this example it’s better to take a dockage for selling beans at 13.8% moisture than sell them at 9%. The difference is a positive gain of $9.37 per acre or almost $1265 on a 135 acre field.
Harvesting at 13% moisture is perhaps a combination of art and luck depending on environmental conditions. Some tips to achieve this can include begin harvesting at 14% moisture, making combine adjustments and operating at slower speeds (consider these equipment adjustment tips for your combine), plan variety selection to spread out maturity and harvest (we’re finding around 1 day delay for every 0.1 difference in maturity group), and avoid harvest losses from shatter as only 4-5 beans on the ground can add up to a bushel per acre loss.
Pasture & Forage Minute: With Dr. Bruce Anderson’s retirement (former Extension Forage Specialist), a team of Extension specialists and educators are sharing pasture and forage minutes. These quick updates are also shared via email. If you’re interested in receiving them, you can sign up for the email list by going to this site: https://listserv.unl.edu/signup-anon , enter PASTURE-AND-FORAGE under ‘list name’, and your email.
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was found in Seward in a trap at the Blue Valley Campground in early August. We don’t recommend treatments right now in the fall. Because of the cost, treatments are only recommended for high value and/or already healthy trees. Once EAB has been confirmed within the 15 mile radius of your location, then you can begin the proper treatment applications on healthy trees. A yearly soil drench application is one option for homeowners for trees under a 20” trunk diameter. Tree care professionals are able to use additional products like trunk injections on larger trees. Contact a certified arborist for these treatments. Some products are best applied in the spring, while others can be done throughout the summer. Treatment zone considerations can be found here: https://nfs.unl.edu/documents/EABmap_2020-08-03.png. Please don’t move firewood to help prevent the spread!
Harvest: Grateful to see harvest going last week! There’s a good article in CropWatch from Roger Elmore, Tom Hoegemeyer, and Todd Whitney regarding how cool weather and reduced solar radiation (sunlight) in August impacted yields. Part of our problem with stalk quality is also due to this. Yield potential can be reduced by cool, cloudy weather yet it can also increase grain fill period allowing for heavier ears as we’ve also seen. You can read the article with full details at https://cropwatch.unl.edu. We would also ask for your input regarding the most important weed problems/issues in your part of the State by completing this survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QZV8Z2T.
A reminder for all of us to please be safe during harvest! It was sobering scrolling
through Ag Twitter last week seeing the number of people posting pictures of farm accidents. Most common were truck drivers taking corners too quickly, overturning vehicles. It was extra sobering that some of the accidents led to death of family or friends. Others posted remembrances of this time of year when they lost someone due to a farm accident.
For all of us as we’re on the roads,
please be alert and slow down. It’s also important to talk about safety with teens who drive. Gravel roads are especially dangerous with dust blowing as vehicles travel, limiting visibility. Slow down at intersections. On highways, slow down when coming upon slow-moving equipment. And, be aware of equipment turning. Collisions involving 1,432 Ohio farm vehicles and other motor vehicles were analyzed for a four-year period (1989-1992). Seventy-eight percent of two-vehicle collisions occurred during daylight hours, with a peak occurrence during the time interval from 3:00 to 6:00 P.M. Forty-two percent of the nighttime crashes were rear-end collisions, compared to 8% of the daylight crashes. Fifty-two percent of daylight crashes occurred when the tractor operator was making a left-hand turn. It’s hard to know if the drivers behind a tractor will try to pass when you want to make a left-hand turn. To avoid this some will pull off to the right and square up to go straight when they want to make a left-hand turn. I also read an interesting publication from Purdue University called “Learning from Truck and Equipment Collisions”-interesting actual accounts and photos. Bottom line: even if the tractor or truck driver wasn’t at fault, there’s a checklist of items that will be asked as the other party will look for any potential way to place fault. I think it’s a helpful read, especially if you have employees within your farm or ag operation: https://ppp.purdue.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/PPP-127.pdf.
Reading an article on harvest safety by Iowa State University, I was surprised the greatest number of harvest accidents actually involve slipping or falling off equipment. But it makes sense as people are mounting and dismounting tractors and combines several times a day. Painted metal on ladders and platforms can become slippery especially when wet or with factors such as mud, crop residue, snow, or ice. Reminder to use grab bars when mounting or dismounting machinery; wear well-fitting shoes with non-slip soles; and recognize that fatigue, stress, drugs/alcohol, and age can affect stability.
Double check where all people are. Keep children away from machinery and grain bins. Double check to make sure all machinery is working properly and that safety shields are in place. When moving equipment, especially grain augers, watch for power lines, keeping equipment at least ten feet from them. Don’t get into grain wagons or bins while the grain is moving. There’s a new film that every farm family should consider seeing called “Silo” where it talks about the dangers of entering grain bins. This week’s Market Journal highlighted the movie and you can learn more here: https://www.silothefilm.com/. Shut down moving equipment when it gets plugged. It only takes a few extra seconds and is well worth it to save a limb. In the rush of harvest season, our ultimate goal is everyone gets home safely each day/night! Here’s wishing you a safe harvest season!