Spoon River Valley Farms
The Harvest Challenges
At Spoon River Valley Farms the debate of harvesting early isn’t discussed anymore, because they have been getting a jump on harvest since the early 90’s. With a substantial amount of acreage to harvest every year, Jeff Gehrig always had to start at 30% moisture to get his crops in before weather losses got too severe. Like most farmers, he was well aware of the weather related losses that occurred during harvest. Over the years he had many opportunities to observe invisible losses where there had been no ear drop, lodging or head shatter to explain the lost yields. “In 2009 I remember starting at 35% and I didn’t finish harvest until the week before Christmas, just ahead of a big snow storm. Had I not started harvest early that year, I would have been dealing with some drastic yield losses from the storm.” After that that close call, Jeff knew that he needed to make a change.
In 2010 he upgraded to a GSI T-Series 20100 Tower Dryer. He chose the Tower Dryer because of its efficiency and high capacity. Today, Gehrig approaches harvest with the mindset to start as early as possible and harvest as fast as possible to get the crop out of the field before it drops below 20%. “When my corn is still standing in the field and moisture drops below 20% the invisible, weather and head shatter losses are far more than the drying costs,” said Gehrig. “I harvest early for 3 reasons - to capture my full yield, eliminate as much invisible, weather and head shatter loss as possible, and ultimately to maximize my profits.” And Jeff has done just that.
GSI System Solutions
Since his acreage is spread over a large area, Jeff put a lot of thought into his purchase of a new dryer. He wanted a dryer that would give him control even when he wasn’t there. “With WatchDog it doesn’t matter where I am. I manage my dryer from my office desktop in the morning, my phone when I’m on the go during the day and my Ipad from my bed at night.” But that’s not the only control Jeff’s dryer gives him. The elevators in Jeff’s area are amongst the best, but even they can’t keep up with the amount of wet grain coming in during harvest. “If we didn’t have our own system, we couldn’t run on our own schedule.” Now, with the freedom to work at his own pace, Jeff says “As soon as it gets down to 32%, I am in the fields running.”