Pre-harvest Calibrations, During Harvest!

Melissa SandfortAg Leader, Insights Weekly

Insights WeeklyFarmers across the Midwest are in the thick of corn harvest right now, but still keep in mind that there are some pre-harvest calibrations that you should run. Even if you don’t think you need to recalibrate everything on the combine, it is a good idea to check to make sure everything is functioning properly.

The first calibration you need to do is the temperature calibration. The yield monitor needs an accurate temperature in order to calculate moisture accurately. It is a good idea to leave the combine parked in the shade for an hour or so before doing calibration, or do it first thing in the morning. It is best to have the combine the same temperature as the air around it.

The next calibration you need to do is the vibration calibration. For this calibration, the combine header needs to be attached. The vibration calibration teaches the yield monitor the difference between grain hitting the impact plate and the vibrations of the combine going through the impact plate. You will need to do this calibration for each crop type.

Calibrating the header stop height is next. You will need to teach the yield monitor the maximum and the minimum header heights, and then you will set a height at which the area logging on the yield monitor will turn off. When you pick your head up at the end of the pass, the yield monitor will quit logging area and keep your yield more accurate. You will need to do this calibration for each crop type.

The next pre-harvest calibration is the distance calibration. Your yield monitor will use the wheel speed sensor on your combine as a backup in the event of a GPS signal loss. If you have done this calibration before, you will only need to do it once to make sure everything is still working right. If this is a new install, you will want to run the calibration more than once to make sure everything worked correctly the first time.

Now that all of your pre-harvest preparations are complete, you can turn your attention to moisture and weight calibrations. A moisture calibration is a simple calibration. It is important to perform the moisture calibration before you do a weight calibration.

The final calibration is the weight calibration. In order to do a proper weight calibration you will need to harvest 4 to 6 loads between 3,000 and 6,000 lbs. each. All the loads will need to be run at a different flow rate. When harvesting your loads try to stay within the same hybrid, and try to find an area with uniform looking crops. Calibration loads in different hybrids or running a high flow load in a poor yielding part of the field can cause accuracy problems.

Click here for the various calibration video tutorials from Ag Leader.

As always, feel free to call Ag Leader’s Tech Support team at 515-232-5363 if you have any questions as you prepare to head into the field. We hope you have a successful harvest!

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