We’ve seen several soybean fields that were badly lodged and many others that had localized lodging problems this fall.

Lodging slows harvest operations and leads to harvest losses as the lodged plants are more difficult to cut and gather into the combine.

Soybean producers can reduce harvest losses due to lodging by carefully adjusting and operating their combines. The following recommendations will reduce losses in lodged soybeans.

• Decrease your ground speed to 2.5 to 3 miles per hour.

• Position the cutter bar as close to the ground as possible.

• Angle the pickup fingers on the reel back slightly to more aggressively pull the lodged plants to the cutter bar. Reduce the angle of the fingers if the plants are riding over the top of the reel.

• Run the axle of the reel 9 to 12 inches ahead of the cutter bar.

• Operate the reel as low as necessary to pick up lodged plants without causing them to ride over the top of the reel. Raise the reel if this happens.