Make room for data

Yield monitors are standard options on many combines today, and yield-mapping data is important information for MFA’s precision agri­culture services. With harvest season near, University of Missouri Extension offers these tips for collecting yield data before combines hit the field.

  • Back up last year’s yield data.
  • Copy each season’s data to a unique folder.
  • Maintain several backup copies of the display/raw data in different locations to prevent losses from theft, damage or modification.
  • Delete old files from the memory card or USB drive. Clear display memory if storage capacity is low.
  • Check data cards or USB drives to make sure they work properly.
  • Contact your local dealer or manufacturer for the most recent software and firmware upgrades for your yield monitoring and mapping system, the display, GPS receiver and other components.
  • Check all cables, connections and sensors for wear or damage. Ensure that wiring and harness connections are tight.
  • Make sure moisture sensor units are clean and undamaged.
  • For combines with a mass flow sensor (usually at the top of the clean grain elevator), look for wear on the flow sensor’s impact or deflector plate. Replace the plate if worn or damaged.
  • Look for excessive wear on the grain elevator and missing or worn paddles.
  • Make sure the clean grain elevator chain is tightened to manufacturer specifications.
  • For combines with an optical sensor, ensure the clean grain elevator paddles are not rubbing against sensors.
  • If purchasing a new or used com­bine with an existing yield mon­itoring system, check for proper installation.
  • If using a grain cart with scales or a weigh wagon for yield monitor calibration loads, check that they give accurate data. Check weights against certified scales to ensure load estimates are within a few percentage points. Use the same scales throughout calibration.
  • To ensure your grain moisture meter’s accuracy, take it to a local grain elevator with a federally approved moisture meter. Com­pare estimates on grain samples with a wide range of moistures.
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