Soybean School

Header Types and Why the Combine Manual is a Must-Read

Is the soybean setting on the combine really where you should start when setting up the combine for harvest? And is a flex header really necessary or just a nice-to-have sort of piece of equipment? The answers are yes and yes, and in this video, Harvey Chorney, of the Prairie Agriculture Machinery Institute and a farmer, explains why.

For those new to growing soybeans, head out and take a look at how low the pods are on the soybean plant. Especially in cool years, the first-set pods can be within inches of the ground. What’s more, the first pods often account for the most yield — if your rigid header can suck to the terrain at two inches off the ground, great, but chances are it won’t or you’ll pick up a very expensive rock or soil clods trying. As Chorney explains in this Soybean School West episode, buying, renting or just plain borrowing a flex-header, with or without an air reel, is simply a must.

With years of data to support it, farmers would also be well-served to spend a little time with the combine manual. Chorney says years of data and millions of acres of work have gone in to developing the setting ranges on the combine, and, while farmers may still need to fine-tune, the ranges given in the manual shouldn’t be ignored. All that and more in this episode below.