Wallaces Farmer

Tips for organizing your 2016 harvest strategy

It's time to start thinking about how to make your harvest as efficient and effective as possible this fall.

September 6, 2016

4 Min Read

Harvest will be here before you know it—crop development and maturity in Iowa are progressing faster than usual in 2016. Time and resources are limited—how can you make the most of them during harvest?  The first step is creating a plan that maps out which fields you will harvest in which order, based upon crop data collected throughout the growing year.


Growers who plant Channel seed have an extra advantage in this arena – Channel seedsmen conduct “Field Check Up Series” visits on the farm at key crop development stages: seedling, vegetative, reproductive and maturity. In addition to providing growers with elite seed products, which are developed through the Monsanto technology pipeline, Channel seedsmen also provide their customers with expert advice and customized recommendations

Early September is ideal time to develop your harvest plan

The observations made and data they collect during these visits helps them develop a customized crop plan for their customers, not just for harvesttime but also to provide insight for planting decisions for the next crop year as well.

“Time and other resources are extremely limited during harvest, so September is the ideal time to develop your harvest plan,” says Channel seedsman Dustin Fouch in Grand Junction, Iowa. “Once the combines start rolling and the crops are drying down fast, you don’t want to be scrambling out there on a four wheeler trying to decide where to go next. We develop extensive notes for the grower to have in their cab for quick reference and create a customized harvest plan for them.”

Customized crop report helps you develop harvest strategy

In late summer and early fall, Channel seedsmen conduct maturity stage Field Check Up Series visits. Some of the things they are evaluating at this time of year include:

·        Estimating yields by performing final stand counts and counting kernels

·        Assessing harvestability, grain appearance, flowability and stalk quality

·        Creating a harvest schedule

·        Conducting side-by-side weight comparisons

·        Developing a combine call list

·        Evaluating harvest goals

·        Creating a Custom Crop Report to summarize the season and begin next year’s planning 

Maturity data can help you map an efficient harvest plan

Growers who have multiple things to focus on appreciate this season-long crop monitoring. Alan Neese farms near Grand Junction in west central Iowa. In addition, he’s a custom nutrient applicator – plus he runs trucking, machinery and equipment businesses. Fall is a busy time for him, so Neese depends on Fouch’s data to help him map out the most effective, efficient harvest plan.

“We don’t always have time to get that data and be looking at things in as timely a manner as we would like,” explains Neese. “We depend upon Dustin for that. He always knows when he needs to be in the field and what he’s looking for. He lets us know what we need to be doing. I trust him and his recommendations because he takes that off of my plate and saves me time and helps me work more efficiently.”

Information organized and presented on field-by-field basis

Fouch uses the data he’s collected throughout the year, and especially at the Maturity Stage Field Check Up Series Visit, to create customized notes that growers can reference in the cab during harvest, organized on a field-by-field basis. Some of this data includes:

·        Planting dates

·        Product maturity by field

·        Where fungicide was (or wasn’t) sprayed, and on which date

·        Stalk health and standability

That saves a lot of valuable time and resources for Neese, who has more than just harvesting a crop on his mind in the fall.

Saves time at harvest, and gives you a head start next spring

Another advantage of Channel Seeds year-round service and data collection is the head start it gives growers on the next year’s planning. “We’re pinpointing products that will perform for best yield potential throughout their acres, and our customers realize the value of that,” says Fouch. “Every year I gather more history and data on my customers’ farms — that allows us to continually improve the efficiency and profitability potential of our customers’ farming operation. We continuously improve the placement of Channel products where they will deliver optimum yield potential, or making changes if we feel we can get better performance with something else.”

To find your local Channel seedsman and schedule a Field Check Up Series visit, go to Channel.com.

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