Five top tips for a successful harvest

Plug&Cool has highlighted five ways in which you can maximise your harvest revenue with some simple pointers to keep every farm on track.

inside of grain store

For any arable farm, harvest is one of the most important times of the year. It’s also one of the most labour-intensive, with long working hours (night and day) and a huge amount of hard work involved.

Poor planning, or lack there of, can often lead to mistakes, wasted time and more importantly, loss of revenue.

Plug&Cool shares the following top tips:

1. Service your equipment

One of the highest costs for a farmer is their farm equipment and machinery, from combines and sprayers, to fertilisers and manure spreaders.

The cost can often spiral out of control and amount to thousands of pounds if machinery isn’t maintained and serviced regularly.

Ensure you check everything is running correctly beforehand to avoid unwanted downtime during harvest.

worker on ladder servicing farm machinery

2. Make sure your grain store is spotless

This may seem obvious but it’s important to maintain a clean grain store before harvest time to avoid any unwanted pests, like rodents and insects.

Insects will most likely be introduced from the store structure or machinery, so it’s important to make sure everything is cleaned down properly.

A small amount of grain will still provide a food source for insects, and it’s important to manage any rodent problems that may occur.

As a starting point, make sure that the roof of your store is secure, waterproof and repair any areas of water ingress.

Check that the store is proofed against bird and rodent entry, but above all, make sure the store and equipment are cleaned thoroughly before storing new grain.

3. Keep your grain at the right temperature

There is no right or wrong way of keeping your grain cool enough once it has been harvested, but there are some useful tips to follow to cover the basics.

To begin with, make sure there is enough space between the grain and the ceiling of the store to allow for adequate ventilation.

Think about installing some gable end fans at each end of the grain store so that there’s enough cool air passing through the store.

Many farmers will invest in temperature probes to keep a record of heat levels and moisture meters to ensure the grain is dry enough.

If you are using underfloor ventilation or pedestal fans to cool your grain, make sure you have the correct fan for the job.

Sometimes if the grain pile is too deep, a lower-powered fan will not draw enough hot air from the bottom, and you run the risk of spoiled grain.

grain store pedestal in grain

4. Hire some help

As stated in the introduction, harvest is an extremely busy and strenuous time of the year.

Depending on the size of your farm, and the quantities of grain you’re harvesting, it may be worth considering hiring some extra hands to help with the workload.

This will then give you the opportunity to take a step back, delegate tasks and manage the day-to-day business without becoming too exhausted and overworked.

two people shaking hands close up

5. Know when to harvest

It goes without saying that timing is a key factor during harvest. Traditionally, farmers will harvest their crops from the end of August to the beginning of September.

This is all dependent on the weather of course as experienced in years past when the temperatures have been much higher.

It can depend on what you are growing, so be sure to monitor the moisture and soil as this will help you determine when to bring it in.

It can be an overwhelming task when preparing for harvest with lots to consider, but getting the basics covered can help you get the best from your yield.

To find out more about how to get the best results from this year’s harvest, visit the Plug&Cool team at this year’s Cereals event. The company will be at stand 432, ready to answer your questions.

Visit Plug&Cool website.

Visit our Cereals 2024 Showcase.

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