Reducing harvest losses is a simple and effective way to increase soybean yields and profitability. Harvest losses average between 1 and 2 bushels per acre under good conditions. However, they can be significantly higher if the plants are short, lodged or when harvest operations are significantly delayed.
With the projected market prices, producers can earn an additional $9.25 to $18.50 per acre by reducing soybean harvest losses this fall.
To help Michigan soybean producers reduce harvest losses, Michigan State University Extension, the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee and local equipment dealerships have conducted soybean harvest equipment field days around the state for the past nine years.
The purpose of the field days is to teach producers where and why harvest losses occur and how to measure and reduce them through new equipment options, careful maintenance and proper operation.
The COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from holding the 10th annual field day in-person. Because of this, we produced a short, 6-minute video covering some of the key concepts we planned to teach at the in-person field day. The video highlights the effects that ground speed and reel speed have on soybean harvest losses.