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Cooperative Extension Service The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences HARVESTING DRYING AND STORAGE SOYBEANS Paul E Sumner Extension Engineer Producing a high quality soybean crop is one thing Harvesting those soybeans with minimum losses and then drying and storing them in a way that maintains quality until the soybeans are marketed is another A reduction in harvest losses of three bushels per acre when harvesting three acres per hour can result in a savings of 54 per harvesting hour based on 6 per bushel Proper drying and storage will maintain quality soybeans and assure minimum losses Harvesting Harvesting Losses The grain combine harvester has been used for soybeans since the mid twenties but little progress was made in reducing harvesting losses until about 1970 Until then the average combine using a rigid grain platform header resulted in as much as 10 percent losses during the harvesting operation The introduction of attachments such as the floating cutter bar and pick up reel reduced harvesting losses to 7 or 8 percent More recently combine headers that have a built in flexible cutterbar have been designed and developed specifically for use in soybeans A low profile row crop header was introduced by John Deere and Company in 1974 Harvesting losses can be reduced to about four percent of yield with these new headers The types of harvesting losses should be identified and measured so that proper combine adjustments can be made to increase soybean harvesting efficiency Preharvest losses are those that occur from natural causes before harvest These losses result from soybeans that have fallen to the ground by the time harvest begins If soybeans that are ready for harvest are subjected to several alternating periods of wet and dry weather preharvest losses could be as high as 25 percent Gathering or header losses are soybeans that are not gathered into the combine These losses are caused by the action of the cutter bar reel

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