Be mindful of harvest losses


Be mindful of harvest losses

An extension corn agronomist encourages farmers to be vigilant about minimizing losses before and during harvest.

Jeff Coulter with the University of Minnesota tells Brownfield pre-harvest losses are usually the result of dropped ears.

“Largely due to corn borer tunneling, or if there was late-season drought in your area where the ears turned down prematurely. If you see dropped ears out there before you’ve harvested, take note of that and think about why that may have occurred so you can correct it for next year.”

He says one dropped ear in one-one hundredth of an acre is equal to a bushel per-acre of yield loss.

When combining, Coulter uses two kernels per square foot as a one bushel per-acre harvest loss.

“And harvest losses can be due to ear losses at the header, stalk roll shelling losses, threshing losses, which are kernels on pieces of cobs behind the combine, or separating losses. Those are kernels that are not shaken out of the cobs and husks and will bust out of the back of the combine.”

He says a study done by Iowa State University showed that even some of the best-performing combines were having issues with harvest losses, so Coulter recommends keeping a close eye on settings and also watching for how much corn is on the ground.