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Calibration is easier with a new software upgrade from Ag Leader. The company has cut the number of loads needed to get accurate maps from four to two.

Simplify harvest calibration

Producers need to remember calibration only works if your scale is accurate.

The GPS-located yield map is an innovation that's been around for more than 25 years. The challenge is achieving accuracy with those maps, which requires that you calibrate your combine. And growers know that's an important task, but it's also a tedious chore. Ag Leader is making moves to change that with its latest software upgrade.

For this year's harvest the company is changing the rules for its InCommand 1200 and 800 displays. The company has announced that farmers can now get an accurate calibration with just two combine hopper loads.

The refined approach comes with a software upgrade for these displays that can make calibration simpler.

"And if the user is not seeking an absolute measure of yield, but wants a basic calibration, we can do that with just one load," says Luke James, territory manager, Iowa, Ag Leader.

For farmers with scales on their grain carts, this process will be pretty simple. Collect one hopper load at normal capacity and take a measurement; then collect a second hopper load at half-capacity. Calibrate from those two measurements.

Calibration only works if your scale is accurate, so test that out by having it checked at the local elevator. Farmers in the heat of harvest should review practices this year to determine best approaches in 2018


Capturing the right load

During a discussion of the new system at a recent company event, it was pointed out that calibration is best based on where you capture those two loads. First, avoid taking calibration loads on headlands where compaction can impact yield. And second, collect samples from areas where the crop looks more consistent.

"We've found that our two-load approach is more accurate than our legacy systems using four loads," noted Kyle Snodgrass, southeast territory manager, Ag Leader. "With one load we can get better accuracy than many yield monitors. And for power users who want super accuracy, they can use three calibration loads."

Once calibrated, the new software adds another feature - a bushel counter you can reset. Snodgrass pointed out that for farmers who are harvesting and know that the bin they want to fill has perhaps 3,200 bushels of space left, they can count those bushels and improve their storage use too. And they can reset the bushel counter on screen for better management of loads going to different locations.

The InCommand displays offer a range of features for managing application and harvest. This latest innovation will change the rules for a lot of producers. As more farmers seeking better data from their operations, harvest calibration becomes more important.

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