Using Harvest Monitor™, Harvest Doc™, and/or a desktop software in conjunction with a John Deere self-propelled forage harvester (SPFH) allows operators to both observe and collect instantaneous field data for analysis and reporting.
Information collected from these systems can be utilized immediately in the cab and after harvest as a basis for making future decisions.
Many benefits can be realized by knowing crop and field data on the go.
On a single GreenStar™ 3 or 2 (GS3 or GS2) screen, like the one pictured above, operators can quickly access the ground speed, area harvested, moisture content, yield, and productivity, among other data.
This instant information helps to make such decisions as identifying harvestable crop, identifying total volume harvested, adjusting inoculant dosages, and adequately regulating crews at storage facilities.
Making such informed decisions while in the cab enhances machine efficiency, operation efficiency, and silage preservation.
With Harvest Doc, not only can the field information be used immediately, but also recorded and used as the basis for future management decisions. Color on-screen mapping can quickly indicate yield and/or moisture trends throughout a field.
These visual trends, combined with the field totals of Harvest Monitor, provide operators with the information needed to make the tough decisions they face.
When making use of Harvest Doc, moisture content and yield readings are only two factors of the operation that are documented. Collected data may also include the following:
NOTE: When moisture content is desired for the purpose of utilizing Harvest Monitor and/or Harvest Doc, a HarvestLab™ sensor is not required. In the GreenStar system, operators can establish a fixed moisture value that will blanket an entire field with a constant moisture reading. However, keep in mind moisture values are also incorporated into yield calculations; therefore, they may compromise data accuracy.
Harvest data collected with Harvest Doc on a John Deere self-propelled forage harvester can be unloaded into the desktop software for a deeper analysis into yield and/or moisture trends, and better visibility to machine and operator efficiency.
Mapping and reports provide accurate business records and historic data. This information provides farm managers the ability to create accurate billing/invoicing statements and make decisions such as nutrient management, bunk management, crop-storage options, feeding rations, crop rotations, and improved farming practices.
Components for monitoring or documenting
Time is money. The more time lost waiting for an accurate moisture measurement, the more money lost. Machine downtime allows a daily income and tonnage loss, while annually creating total income and labor-cost issues.
HarvestLab limits machine downtime by providing instantaneous moisture information, preventing inefficient productivity. Using a harvest rate, the number of machines, labour rates, and downtime waiting for a moisture reading, calculate the potential productivity loss on your operation.
Recognizing the value of assets is important to any operation. Whether buying, selling, or figuring current silage inventory, accurate moisture readings are required to determine credible value.
HarvestLab reinforces value calculations by providing precise and immediate measurements. Calculate the feed value based on the yield, moisture, and current crop value.
John Deere partnered with Zeiss®, an industry leader in optics, to design HarvestLab™. HarvestLab is secured to the discharge spout using three steel brackets and covered by a protective shield.
To enhance hardware protection and endurance, the near-infrared-reflectance (NIR) sensor itself is housed in a sealed, metal casing. Additionally, NIR technology is further heightened through the use of a sapphire, glass lens.
Sapphire glass is known as one of the hardest, most scratch-resistant materials in the world, second only to a diamond.
Additional benefits that can be recognized due to the durable design are as follows:
Zeiss is a U.S.-registered trademark of Carl Zeiss AG Corporation.
Each operation is unique, but in general, silage harvested in a matter of days is expected to feed herds the entire year or be sold throughout the year.
Considering harvest conditions are never perfect and feed quality never improves after harvest or during storage, effective management and the ability to react quickly and efficiently becomes paramount.
The HarvestLab sensor allows operators to make informed management decisions at harvest and during storage in order to maximize silage/feed quality from the day it's harvested to the day it's fed or sold.
Much value stems from obtaining instantaneous yield and moisture data. Operators are able to do the following:
HarvestLab provides on-the-go yield and moisture data when used in conjunction with Harvest Monitor™. This instantaneous information can then be recorded and documented by using Harvest Doc™ mapping system and a global positioning system (GPS).
As crop enters the machine and separates the feedrolls, the mass-flow sensor measures the degree of separation by detecting the position of the lower feedroll in relation to the upper feedroll.
Simultaneously, speed sensors measure the rate of material flowing through the feedrolls. Information from both sensors is used to calculate real flow or throughput.
Keep in mind that throughput accuracy is reliant on consistent calibrations at the beginning of the year. Much like that of grain, at minimum, yield calibrations are recommended once per crop, per season.
Once calibrations are completed, HarvestLab accuracy is within +/- 6 percent of the total weight in grass and within +/- 3 percent of the total weight in corn. Calibrations are also available for alfalfa and whole crop.
The HarvestLab moisture sensor mounts to the top of the discharge spout and takes accurate moisture readings of the crop as it passes through the spout. The sensor takes readings in less than one second intervals, to give the operator uncompromised accuracy of crop conditions, as the forage harvester goes through the field. Accuracy is +/- 2 percentage points for moisture. Testing done through Deutsche Landwirtschafts Gesellschaftt (DLG) FOKUS Test 10-9.
For the design of HarvestLab, John Deere partnered with Zeiss®, a global leader in the optics industry. HarvestLab utilizes NIR technology to accurately measure moisture on the go, which is the same technology most nutrition labs use to analyze silage samples.
A light source projects a beam directly onto the crop as it passes through the spout. As the light energy is transmitted, it is then partially absorbed by the crop or reflected.
High-moisture crop tends to absorb more light. Using the amount of measured reflectance and mathematical processes, the NIR sensor produces a moisture reading.
Benefits of the infrared technology:
Zeiss is a trademark of Carl Zeiss AG Corporation.
Time is money for all operators, whether they are dairymen, herdsmen, nutritionists, custom operators, or contractors. The HarvestLab sensor and stationary kit can provide time and cost savings with use in the barn, field office, or anywhere wherever feed analysis is needed. For example the total mix ratio (TMR) can be done in the barn for ease in identification of mix during winter.
Other conventional methods of testing silage moisture can be a time-consuming process. Producers can lose a considerable amount of time in transferring samples from the storage facility to the testing site, weighing those samples, and then waiting for the test results, which can take hours, days, or weeks.
Firstly, considering storage facilities may not be located in close proximity to the testing site, the HarvestLab solution can be completely mobile. The power supply can be made to adapt to a convenience outlet such as a cigarette lighter in a vehicle; therefore, it will not require samples to be analyzed inside a building with a 220-V outlet.
Secondly, the samples tested with the HarvestLab solution do not have a weight requirement. Time is saved by not having to continuously reweigh samples to ensure a consistent sample weight.
Lastly, moisture data is provided to the operator in a matter of minutes, instead of hours or days, so informed decisions can be made in a timely manner. With each hour that goes by, not knowing the moisture content of a sample - regardless if it's from the field or inventory - income is lost.
Make use of the following productivity calculator to realize how much money can be saved and turned into profit, by utilizing the HarvestLab sensor with the stationary kit for rationing purposes:
The HarvestLab sensor offers operational efficiency and convenience beyond the end of the harvest day or season by having dual application functionality.
Not only can the sensor be utilized on a John Deere self-propelled forage harvester (SPFH) to provide on-the-go moisture data, but it can also be removed from the machine and used as a stationary unit at a storage facility or home office.
The addition of the HarvestLab stationary kit to the sensor allows producers to obtain immediate moisture readings for fresh samples in the field or ensiled samples at the storage facilities. The accuracy of the moisture measurements are within +/-2 percentage points. Gone are the days of gut-feel guesses, because informative and timely information is key!
Daily moisture analysis is common to ensure proper bunk management and rationing. Such routine inspections are difficult to maintain when using other moisture testing options. The HarvestLab sensor uses the same near-infrared-reflectance (NIR) technology entrusted and used by most nutrition labs, but produces results quicker than a lab or Koster tester.
Considering changes in feed quality requires a quick reaction by the producer for rationing purposes. Timely results can ensure proper bunk management and rationing while also reducing the risk to the livestock health.
Consistent rations reduce the variability in daily milk production, and HarvestLab can bring producers one step closer to both consistency and profitability.
When the HarvestLab™ sensor is coupled with the HarvestLab stationary kit, it offers a practical and easy-to-use solution, away from the forage harvester. The sensor can be removed from a John Deere self-propelled forage harvester (SPFH) in a matter of minutes.
Attaching the HarvestLab stationary kit to the HarvestLab sensor can also be quickly accomplished. This unit is connected to a desktop or laptop computer through the use of a connection box and Ethernet cable.
All the setup required to enable the computer to communicate with the HarvestLab sensor only has to be done once.
Once the two are communicating and set up as desired, a moisture measurement can be taken and logged. Screens are easily navigable and straightforward.
Moisture data can be downloaded from the HarvestLab sensor and saved to a computer for record-keeping purposes via a universal serial bus (USB) port on the side of the connection box.