Simple harvest tips for meeting food-grade soybean quality

Sevita International national quality assurance manager Natalie Hazeleger

As the calendar pushes into late September, food-grade soybean growers are readying combines for harvest.

In this video, Natalie Hazeleger, Sevita International’s national quality assurance manager, shares harvest tips to help growers meet the quality needs of food-grade soybean markets.

Maintaining a clean sample is not difficult, but it does require attention to detail. Prior to harvest, Hazeleger says it’s important to scout fields and look for weedy patches and volunteer corn, which needs to be removed from the field. For weedy escapes or general weeds, growers may want to consider a pre-harvest desiccant to eliminate the weeds and make combining easier.

It’s also important to ready harvest machinery. That includes cleaning out combines and bins and any other equipment used during harvest. (Story continues after the video.)

Food-grade soybeans primarily head to export markets. Hazeleger says following harvest protocols are critical to quality requirements. One of the main concerns of buyers is GM contamination. That risk increases when combines are not properly cleaned out.

Another concern is a combine that has been sitting idle with residue in it. This machine could be dirty and create dirt tagging on soybeans when it enters the field.

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Patience is another virtue when it comes to achieving high quality, says Hazeleger. Before starting to combine in the morning, growers need to wait until the dew has lifted, and also stop early enough in the evening before the dew returns. This prevents staining from dust that flies during combining.

As the day progresses, growers also need to adjust combine settings. “What starts as a good setting in the morning is not necessarily the same as it would be at the end of the day.” Hazeleger adds that incorrect settings do contribute to cracked seed coats and seed coat damage that can occur during combining.