Last updated on
May 31, 2012
Soybean for hay or silage
During the 1960s and 1970s soybean combine losses typically ranged from 5 to 19
percent with an average of 9 percent.
Combines were equipped with rigid heads. In the 1970s,John Deere introduced its
row crop head with flexible, floating cutterbars. These combines only had losses
of 2 to 4%.
Modern combines have poly-skid plates to reduce soil buildup, lateral floats to
maintain low cutting heights and wider platform heads.
Normally 80 to 85% of soybean harvest losses are gathering losses.
- Plant varieties that are shatter resistant
- Plant varieties differing in maturity
- Weather: moisture loss can occur at a very rapid rate (up to 6% per day)
- Not much can be done, except to harvest as rapidly as possible to prevent continued
- shatter losses by the header
- stubble losses
- stalk losses
- lodge bean plants
How to Measure Harvesting Loss
- Drive combine into the crop. Backup about 20 to 30 feet.
- In frame that is 10 square feet (frame should equal combine platform width), count:
- loose beans,
- beans in pods on or off stalks, and
- beans in pods on the stubble
- Total beans divided by 40 = bushels lost per acre
Four soybeans per square foot = 1 bushel per acre
Acceptable loss = 3% of the yield or less.
Drying costs for soybeans typically are 2 cents per point per bushel above 13% moisture
Drying soybeans usually increases seed coat cracking and splitting