The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Green Acres

 

July 12, 2017



Harvest and Storage Rules of Thumb on Pulse Crops

• Pre-harvest: A desiccant will not speed maturity but it may be used as a harvest aid to terminate the crop, and to burn down immature weeds which can cause seed staining. Desiccants should be used only after pods have matured, seeds have changed color, and the seeds have detached themselves inside the pods. The pods will rattle upon shaking. Threshing can begin when seed reaches 18% moisture. However, lower moisture percentages are necessary for long term storage or for processors to accept the crop (Kent McVay, 2017).

• The pre-harvest interval (PHI) is 7 days for glyphosate and paraquat.

• How safe is the seed in chickpeas if harvested after the 7 day PHI? Very safe. All regulated pesticides go through extensive screening by the federal government before they are approved. Safety is one of the main issues evaluated prior to approval (Fabian Menalled, 2016).

• Harvest immediately: Be ready to harvest. A hard rain or hail storm can destroy pulse crops very quickly. Pulse crops should be harvested first over other crops because growers have the most to lose in profitability if a storm comes through. Using a flex/draper header is highly recommended by pulse growers.

• Combine adjustment: Follow manufacturer guidelines to reduce damage. Adjust cylinder speed and concave, sieve and air settings throughout the day to prevent breakage (Kent McVay, 2017).

• Combine operation: Reel speed should match ground speed.

• Combine adjustment: Follow manufacturer guidelines to reduce damage. Adjust cylinder speed and concave, sieve and air settings throughout the day to prevent breakage (Kent McVay, 2017).

• Combine operation: Reel speed should match ground speed.

• Shattering potential: Chickpea has a low shattering potential, especially compared to dry pea and lentil. Pod drop and pod shattering can occur once seeds have dried down and are ready for harvest.

• Direct cutting: Direct cutting without desiccation usually results in higher yields and larger seed size. In some regions, it is advantageous to swath and then combine, since delayed harvests can result in darkened or stained seed coats (Kent McVay, 2017).

• Green seed: Monitoring for seed color is most important to determine proper harvest timing and management. Harvesting too early increases the chances of green seed in the crop. Occurrence of green seed lowers grade and crop value leading to dockage (Kent McVay, 2017).

• Stripper headers: Harvest using stripper headers can reduce occurrence of weed seeds and shriveled chickpea seeds. Stripper headers can strip off ripened pods at harvest and leave green leaves on the plant, improving harvest quality (Kent McVay, 2017).

• Splits and cracked seed coat numbers increase every time they are transported. One producer hauls his peas directly to the elevator during harvest to minimize dockage. Producers who store peas on the farm should purchase a belt conveyor. The use of grain vacuums is discouraged.

 
 

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