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Setting Reel Speed for a successful soybean harvest

Reel Speed: Synchronize reel speed to ground speed. Reel speed RPM should be 10 times the ground speed. Example: 4 MPH ground speed = 40 RPM on reel speed. Place a piece of tape or paint a reel tip to count revolutions per minute on the reel.

Soybean Header Reel Speed Adjustments

Thinking through the best been reel speed you can visually watch it as you’re going down through the field to find the best settings. One of the things I do to make it easier is to use a spray can or a piece of duct tape to put a visual marker on one arm of the reel. Then from the cab you can count the revolutions as you sit on the end rows. The rule of thumb you are looking for is 10 times ground speed. So if you’re running three and a half miles an hour I would count to set the reel at 35 revolutions per minute.

COMBINE Settings & Tips
For soybeans

Click any item to watch Marion talk through the diagnostics

Start Downwind & Pick Upwind

Start harvesting on the downwind side. The wind will help spread straw away from uncut soybeans. In case of fire, the wind will blow the threat away from the standing crop. 

Bean Head Sickles

Choosing 3-inch sickle bars helps avoid plugging. The wider sickles allow residue to flow better and results in a cleaner cut in no-till or higher-residue environments.

Draper vs. Auger Fed Heads

Draper heads perform better than auger-fed platforms in all conditions. Watch the video to learn why. 

Cross Auger Adjustment

Finely tune your cross auger with a 1/16-inch clearance between the flighting and tray to reduce grain damage.

Feeder House Chain

Extend the feeder house chain so the chain is as close as possible to the auger or draper belt to improve the hand-off of material from the platform to the feeder house.

Synchronizing Reel Speed

To synchronize reel speed to ground speed, reel RPM should be 10 times ground speed. Example: 4 MPH ground speed = 40 RPM on reel. Use a piece of tape or spray paint a bar of your reel to easily count RPM from the cab.

Rotor speed refined

Increase rotor speed until the first cracked soybean appears in the grain tank, then slowdown by 10 RPM. The status of the crop will determine speed, so re-check as field conditions change.

Concave Clearance 

Open until rotor loss occurs, then close slightly. Watch the video to learn what the watch for to set properly.

concave cover plates

Improve the threshing power of green soybean pods by installing concave inserts, filler bars or filler plates in the first 12 inches of the concave. This allows for green pods to rub against green pods, significantly reducing un-threshed pods in the tank.

Fan Speed for Soybeans

Increase speed until all pod hulls have left the grain tank sample, then slow down by 50 RPM.

Bottom Sieve Settings

Run the bottom sieve wide open to let air flow to the top sieve. Sure it's there - but you're not required to use it! Watch our video to see why.

Top Sieve (Front Portion)

Close the front portion of the top sieve until the grain tank has 99% clean soybeans.

Top Sieve (Back Portion) & Tailings Elevator

Close the rear portion of the top sieve until un-threshed pods start going over the back, then open up 1/8-inch to allow them to fall into the return auger.  Check your tailings elevator using a kill stop examination to determine exactly what's happening.

Transport Vanes on Case Combine

Adjust transport vanes to the advanced position (bottom of the vanes to the front of the combine). This reduces the bleeding of horsepower and the amount of fodder and stems that fall through the rotor cage and onto the top sieve.

Soybean Harvest with a John Deere Combine

Follow along with Marion as he covers various settings for your green machine for a successful soybean harvest!  Learn some of the finer points of tuning up your combine in this extended discussion.