As the weather is taking a turn for the better, many combines will be rolling in the coming weeks.  Most of the combines today are equipped with a yield monitor, either just to monitor the yield or to map the field as they harvest.

For the results to be as accurate as possible, we need to take the time and get the system calibrated.  You can do this yourself by weighing out a specific wagon at the local elevator, or you can have a Maizex weigh wagon come to your field and do it for you. 

I have visited many combines over the years and asked the operators about their monitors.  The response in most cases is, “I turned it on and I just read it as I go”.  Many don’t believe the results because they either figure the crop is better or worse than what is showing.  When I ask if it had been calibrated, the answer is, “I don’t have time”.  When I explain and show them how easy it is to calibrate and prove that it takes very little time, we calibrate it and then the real results are shown.  Many operators are very happy once we are done and ask me back when they change crops.  All monitors should be calibrated before each crop.  If you don’t do this, your yields will be inaccurate. 

If you have this tool, it is recommended to pre-load your fields into the system so that when you change locations, you can select the field name to start the monitor.  This is very helpful if you have a mapping function attached to your system.  These maps, if done properly, are very helpful in locating troublesome spots in your fields.  Your yield map can then be overlaid on top of your soil fertility maps, if you have them.  Layering maps can be helpful in determining if the troubled spots are caused by fertility, soil health or a combination of both.

There is a cost to having these tools on your combine at your disposal and this cost is not cheap.  Take the time and have them calibrated and set up so that you get the best and closest accurate data that is available to you.  A 20 minute setup can save you peace of mind; put these tools to work for you.

If you need assistance in calibrating or setting up your system, call your local Maizex representative.  We will be glad to help you.

Chuck Belanger, Maizex Seeds Yield Specialist, North Essex and South Chatham-Kent Counties
Twitter: @sprayman63