January 21, 2022 5:17 pm

Barley harvest: what can’t go wrong

The time of harvest is approaching and historically it is a time of hard work, against the clock, against the weather and nature to be able to harvest and save the fruit of the work of the whole year. It is a moment in which we have already done everything, almost everything, we have already worked and invested in caring for the cultivation of weeds, pests and diseases and in feeding / nurturing them. Now we have to take care not to lose the game in the extra time.

Where can we fail in the case of barley?

First of all, we said that the harvest is coming, not that it has already arrived. We must continue to monitor, since the isocas shellers (It will be albilinea) and true military (Pseudaletia adulterous) advance at this time and they can cause huge losses in performance. As indicative action thresholds, we can speak, with distance between furrows of 21 cm, of 2 military isocas per linear meter until physiological maturity, and 0.2 shellers until harvest (we bear in mind that this can cut the rachis below the spike causing the fall and loss of entire ears).

Other subject to pre-set It’s of hail, fire and wind insurance, since at this time there are usually storms that cause a lot of damage to the crops delivered.

Attentive and on time, having agreed availability of combine harvesters at the right time is key. In general, we estimate that we should have a combine harvester for at least every three hundred hectares of barley. In previous years we have lost up to 1,500 kg / ha due to being late at harvest time and seeing an increase in overturning and / or breaking on those crucial days.

When the harvester arrives we have to take it to a predefined place to clean it and prevent weed species or biotics that were not previously in the lot from entering.

Well, finally we are with the combine in the field, put in that the engineer says that I could break, overturn, catch a hail and come the apocalypse … NO !. Let’s stop the ball now we have to calibrate the threshing well to preserve the quality of the harvested seed and avoid discounts. Must measure crop losses, which vary from lot to lot and according to the conditions of the moment as well, the losses recommended by INTA are of maximum 100 kg / ha (270 medium grains per square meter), which at today’s prices are $ 27 / ha !. Let us bear in mind that under normal conditions INTA has measured an average loss of 150 kg / ha (40 u $ s / ha!). A good and inexpensive option if one cannot be available is to hire a professional to closely monitor the harvest.

In the case of barley and with breaking and / or overturning situations, it is essential to add the “lifting” points, which help to lift fallen plants. We have measured differences of 400 kg / ha if we were doing everything well, but we added the points. In specific cases we have managed to go at a speed of 3 km / h to achieve the best possible harvest and not lose 1,500 kg / ha.

Another fundamental point is that of take and save samples periodically to be able to analyze the quality and know what we have in the field or what we are delivering.

The weather is getting hot, we must take care to reduce the risk of fires during harvest. Taking measurements like clean the areas with the greatest accumulation of chaff two or three times a day, have the regulatory fire extinguishers available, avoid working with more than 35 ° C, less than 30% relative humidity and strong north wind (more than 35 km / h).

Another aspect to consider is collateral damage from a poor harvest. Like having more guacha barley in the second crop that follows (more costs). Problems due to poor distribution of machine glue, such as failures in planting second-rate soybeans, in some cases and with light seeders we have had to sow 52 cm between rows instead of the typical 21 cm (and preferable due to ground cover). and competition with weeds). Disadvantages in the cultivation of the following year, since sowing is difficult in the machine queues, which are also shelter and favor the proliferation of pests such as slugs and pellet bugs. The next crop is also affected because the soil is colder, suffers more cold damage and has less nitrogen available than in the parts that are well distributed.

If we go through all this, and we are alive to tell about it, the time comes to celebrate and organize the traditional end-of-harvest festivities, where the end of one cycle and the beginning of another are celebrated, in this eternal return that is agricultural production, and life.

The author is an advisor to Agroestudio Viento Sur SRL


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