A View from the Combine Seat

November 18, 2014

In a world now dominated by innovative technology, the seat of a modern combine is no different. LCD monitors, gauges, and automated devices have begun to monopolize cab space in these luxurious cabs. With a wide array of data being collected and displayed, our focus can quickly be channeled from the corn header to these colorful screens. Valuable data can be collected and compiled from these devices. Especially when the data used in a sense to base future decisions on future cropping plans. On the other hand, by focusing solely on yield monitors we are missing even more pertinent information that is standing right in front of our eyes.

Every farmer wants to raise a top yielding crop. We also know that growers get paid by the percentage of full ears of corn that reside in their fields. A runt corn plant that essentially produces a runt ear will never amount to anything profitable for a grower. If we keep our eyes fixed on a yield monitor and not the overall condition of the plant structure, we miss out on the tell-tale signs and causes of a less than perfect full ear stand. Now obviously there are close to an infinite number of variables that can affect these plants and hinder their ability to produce a profitable ear. Our attention is so often fixed solely on what our yield monitors are telling us, instead of using our eyes to see what the actual corn plants are telling us.

From the Combine WindowA proactive farmer uses reasoning to determine what his or her fields are revealing. These clues are pertinent to preparing for next year’s cropping plan and strategy. It is imperative to piece these clues together to ensure future success and yield progress. Pairing past in-field results with the “Top 5 Factors to Producing a Top Crop” provide future preparations and guidelines for moving more grain over the weigh scales in the fall than ever before.

-Scott Sanders, Seed Specialist