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Yield monitors and related equipment should be calibrated prior to harvest. Recalibration is necessary for each type of grain harvested and may be necessary as crop and environmental conditions change.
Check for software updates for both the yield monitor console and the computer. Troubleshooting from the combine cab or office can be easier when the latest software version is installed. Updates are necessary for optimum data collection and for ease of downloading.
Calibration at the beginning of harvest is critical to obtaining accurate yield data. Recalibration is necessary for each type of grain harvested, or if significant moisture content changes occur. Loads should be collected in representative areas of each field. Weighing several loads and testing grain moisture content are usually the main steps in calibration; however, be sure to check with the yield monitor manufacturer for steps specific to your system.
The mass flow sensor or impact sensor must be calibrated to help achieve a more accurate grain weight. Proper calibration requires harvesting 3 to 5 separate calibration loads. Each load should represent different flow rates. This can be achieved by harvesting at different speeds. Different flow rates represent different yield levels to the yield monitor. Calibration loads should be between 3,000 and 6,000 pounds, or 50 to 60 bushels. Weigh each load with a weigh wagon or other scales. If significant changes are made to elevator chain, paddles, or flow sensor, it will be necessary to recalibrate. If grain test weight changes, recalibration may be needed.
To calibrate loads, test grain moisture content with a hand-held moisture meter or with a moisture meter at the grain elevator. Some growers prefer to use an average reading from at least 5 loads. Others calibrate their moisture content sensor for corn below 22% moisture content and recalibrate for corn above 22% moisture content. Corn at 25% content moves through a combine different than corn at 17% moisture content.
Accurate ground speed and distance traveled are necessary to record yield per acre. The distance calibration should be checked against a known distance to ensure correct distance is recorded.
The header height determines the beginning and ending of data logging and the area accumulation. Make sure the stop height switch operates correctly. Failure to disengage the header height switch at the ends of rows can result in inaccurate yield data.
Figure 1. Climate FieldView™ Drive device that helps farmers easily transfer their data from the field to the cloud.
There is new technology available to assist in yield data accumulation. The Climate Corporation announced the launch of the new Climate FieldView™ Drive, a device that provides seamless data connectivity by easily transferring field data from their equipment into their Climate FieldView™ account. The Climate FieldView™ Drive connects to a tractor or combine controller area network (CAN) diagnostic port and uses Bluetooth® technology to wirelessly data onto an iPad®.
Figure 2. With Climate FieldView™ Plus, farmers can collect, store and visualize all their field map data in one place and access it on an iPad®.
Climate FieldView Drive captures key planting data including product and planting population, as well as key harvest data such as yield. When Climate FieldView Drive is partnered with Climate FieldView Plus, data is digitally displayed from the field, to easily understand product performance by field, soil zone, and population with side-by-side views of as-planted and yield data.
Climate FieldView Drive is compatible with select John Deere and Case IH planters and John Deere combines. There are plans to expand the capabilities of Climate FieldView Drive in coming seasons.
Yield monitor calibration tips—time is money. http://corn.osu.edu. Grisso, R., Alley, M., and McClellan, P. Precision farming tools: yield monitor. Virginia Tech. Virginia Cooperation, publication 442-502. http://pubs.ext.vt.edu. The Climate Corporation launches new Climate FieldView Drive™ to simplify data collection, storage, and visualization for farmers. 2016. The Climate Corporation. www.climate.com Web sources verified 05/12/2015. 140722110640