Agronomist says soybean moisture readings in cold weather likely wrong

An agronomist says moisture readings on frozen crops can be deceiving.

William Wynn with Pioneer tells Brownfield with the cold temperatures, soybeans will be frozen when harvested, and getting accurate moisture data will be challenging. “Your moisture tester in your combine and even your hand-held moisture tester, if you’re putting frozen beans through that, they need to take that moisture reading that you’re getting with a grain of salt. I recommend taking that sample and letting it warm up to room temperature because you’ll gain a couple of points as the beans thaw, so they may not be as dry as what you think.”

Wynn says put frozen soybean samples in a sealed bag, and let them warm up to room temperature before testing moisture. “For beans that are frozen, you’re going to at least gain a point and a half to two points so that can make a difference between spoiling a bin or causing some issues here down the road.”

University of Wisconsin experts say drying soybeans at 100 degrees Fahrenheit will minimize split beans.

As far as the harvest in Wisconsin, Wynn says, “I’d say Madison, Wisconsin area and south, you’re looking at probably upwards of 55% of the corn being harvested. North of Madison, I’d say that number drops to close to 40%. On the soybean side, probably south of Madison looking at 80% complete and working north, I did see a little bit of work being done where they didn’t get snow last week and about 50% completed on soybean harvest.”

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