Soybean Harvest Losses Based on Cutting Height

Prepared by : John Heard, MAFRD Field Crop Nutrition Specialist

There is always incentive to minimize harvest losses.  Here is a graph of measured losses due to improper cutting height in a low podding variety in 2013: Soybean Yield Loss Due to Cutting Height

Make sure you visit your farmer clients as they harvest to do some harvest loss measures.  Determine the average loss per square foot and divide the number of seeds by 4 to estimate bu/ac loss.  Cutter bars cutting stems at 2” will minimize stubble harvest loss.  If the combine operator will not slow down to 3 mph to maintain a low cutting height, then your farmer cannot afford to let them leave so much crop in the field.


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