Moorhead Office


Harvest Tips
 Maximum delivered moisture is 14%, discounts will be applied & loads over 14.5% will be REJECTED
    Pre-harvest Preparation
  • If weed treatments were not effective, weedy areas or fields may be sprayed with Round up or similar burn down herbicide     prior to harvest. Make sure you can comply with the harvest interval. ***If Nightshade is an issue the Nightshade berries will probably still stain the soybeans. This will need to be managed separately.***
  • All harvest, handling and storage equipment needs to be thoroughly cleaned to reduce contamination of the Food Grade Soybeans. If your farm has RR soybeans, additional precautions will be necessary.
  • DO NOT apply any insecticide to your bins or the product in storage – this will be a significant issue with customers.
    Field Conditions/Harvesting Considerations
    Dirt stains, green staining and immature beans are three things that can turn an excellent crop into one that can not be used in the food grade market.
    Here are some suggestions:
  • If the header picks up some dirt, stop and remove the dirt from the header, do not keep running product through to clean the header.
  • If ditches, headlands or areas of the field are not mature, harvest them separately or harvest them later when those areas are fit for harvest.
  • If your field has a common border with RR soybeans leave a 10-15 foot strip and harvest them separately (at the end of your food grade harvest) and deliver them to the elevator.
  • DO NOT mix poor quality with good quality product, this almost always causes significant issues. Keep it separate and we will try to work with it.
    Soybean Quality Considerations
  • Moisture content  the ideal harvesting moisture for Food Grade Soybeans is 12% to 14.5%. If you are able to harvest within these levels seed coat damage should be minimal in most situations.
  • Seed coat damage – This can be one of the more difficult issues to manage. If you notice more than 4 split seeds in a handful of harvested soybeans you are likely causing seed coat damage. Please see the “Harvest Tips” section below.
  • Changes during the day – Be aware that you may need to make adjustments to your combine settings during the day (concave and rotor/cylinder). Visual inspection of the harvested soybeans will indicate the changes needed.
    Common Sense and Patience

    Many growers, whether large or small, whether they hire custom harvesters or have their own
equipment, have been and can be very successful with maintaining food grade quality of their 
    soybean harvest. Their success comes with paying attention to the previously mentioned items
    and with some common sense and patience. With 30% or more of your price coming from the 
    food grade premium it is well worth the time to manage your harvest activities.


    Samples and Communication
    Please collect a representative sample from all areas that are conceivably different relative to soybean quality.
    If you have any questions prior to, or during harvest, please call either Gene or Mark anytime.
    Tips to Improve Food Grade Soybean Quality
  • If you notice pods in the harvested crop, tighten the concave rather than accelerate the speed of the cylinder or rotor.If you notice 4 or more split seeds in a handful of soybeans, tighten the concave or diminish speed of cylinder / rotor drum if possible.Always keep an adequate speed to allow regular feeding to the combine.
  • Remember that Food Grade Soybeans do not tolerate excessive handling.
  • When unloading the combine decrease engine speed to 50%
  • Make sure there is not too much return to the cylinder / rotor as this can increase the number of split seed (Adjust the lower screen).
  • If there is soil stuck to the pods, wait for the standing crop to dry completely to avoid any stains on the soybean.
  • When unloading the Food Grade Soybeans, augers (combine and unloading) must be set at a reasonable speed (12-1500RPM) while fed to the maximum.
  • Make sure the unloading augers are in good condition - an 8 to 10 inch diameter auger is preferable.
A few suggestions for setting different types of combines for harvesting Food Grade Soybeans
                      **for other makes of Combines use John Deere settings

These settings were based on past years experience. However, settings may differ for this year’s crop under different conditions.

    The Big Picture
    Our overseas buyers have become very discriminate in their buying. They now expect a high
    degree of quality and perfection. Harvest will be a challenge this year with the late maturing
    crop. Any quality issues such as green seed, high moisture, mud tag and other maladies will
    be closely monitored. Discounts will apply to any and all soybeans not meeting these strict
Again, please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions or concerns!
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