Try this. I found it on the net.
Brent Lee Johnson harvests crops across the High Plains with eight 2388 Case IH combines. We reached him in his crew-cab Ford pickup while he was moving machines from Colorado to South Dakota.
Johnson says the biggest mistake farmers make is not getting their equipment set up right. “Farmers have a tendency to over-modify their combines,” he says. “There are so many products available and different ways to set up a machine. And some of the aftermarket equipment doesn't match the opportunities available on newer machines engineered by companies.” One example is the wrong combination of aftermarket sieves and concaves. You should check with your combine technician at your local dealer to find out what combinations work.
The next biggest mistake Johnson sees is the failure to organize grain carts and trucks efficiently. “Simple things like pointing the truck out of the field rather than having to turn a full truck in the field,” he says. “We do it as second nature because of the months and years of doing it.”
Johnson says you should always face your trucks away from the field to save time and wear and tear on the trucks and to give the grain cart easier access to them. You also should park trucks in a row and load the first truck first so you always know which way to go and never have to back up.
“We always station everything in the field so you don't have to back up and risk damage from unnecessary backing,” he says.
Finally, he advises, to save cart time, you should unload the combine in the grain carts as you are headed toward the truck.
A tip related to efficiency is safety. “The two work well together,” he says. Safety in his business means getting the word “hurry” out of everyone's vocabulary, he says. “I've never seen a crop that didn't get taken off the field. But I've sure seen cases where we had to bury someone when there was still a crop in the field.”
Johnson recommends that you do not set the pace of harvest at a frantic level. Farmers who enlist the help of family members or people in town should pace their workers according to their abilities so that they don't feel rushed and make mistakes. “For example, make sure you walk through the details of how to get the truck out of the field or how to unload it at the elevator or at the bin site,” he explains. “And just calm down.”
Johnson says if you keep a calm and positive attitude, you will get more work out of your people in a much safer environment.
Lawrence Dees Dees Seed Company Blountstown, FL
Equipment: three Massey Ferguson 9690 combines
Crops: corn, soybeans, oats, wheat, millet, clover, grass seed and rye
Territory: 11,500 acres in Georgia, Alabama and Florida
Lawrence Dees' accent is thicker than Alabama swamp grass. He custom harvests everything from corn to bahai grass seed as far south as Florida. We reached him at 6:30 a.m over a breakfast of grits to get his tips for corn and soybean farmers.
“Just be conscientious in your work is the only thing I could tell you,” he says. “If you don't, you'll waste a man's crop.”
Conscientiousness to Dees means walking the field behind every machine each time it starts to make sure crop isn't being lost. “We'll lose some, which is intolerance,” he says. “But we try not to lose as much as our competitors lose.”
He attributes his edge to two things: his Massey Ferguson 9690 combines and the few adjustments he makes to them. He says the Massey's rotary design lets him harvest a better-quality sample with less crop loss than with competitive combines.
“I wouldn't run anything else,” he says. “It is a whole lot simpler to operate. And with the helical vane feeder beater, high-profile chrome rasp bars, rotator knives, and constant speed rotor control, the machines will do a better job.”
He admits one exception is in wheat straw early in the season, where he says the John Deere conventional cylinder-type machine does a better job of producing straw that is to be baled.
Two adjustments Dees makes to his Masseys are to rotor speed and airflow. He follows the settings recommended in the operator's manual and then adjusts according to the crop and amount of foreign material in the sample.
“For example, in corn the book calls for an airflow of 1,100 or 1,200 rpm and a rotor speed of 500 to 600 rpm,” he explains. “If the cob is breaking up, then your rotor speed is too fast. If it is not shelling it all off, then your rotor speed is too slow.”
He says the amount of moisture in corn will dictate your final setting. For example, in high-moisture corn, airflow will remain the same but rotor speed may have to be increased. “So if you were running at 550, you may have to increase it to 625,” he says.
He uses similar setting in soybeans. He says airflow is basically wide open. Rotor speed is around 500 rpm and adjusted to the amount of cracks in the sample. “If you're seeing cracks or splits, go slower,” he says.