Top tips for a productive harvest with Gatekeeper software

Gatekeeper provides the ability to import, manage and view yield data and recordings from a range of compatible in-cab display terminals. The tips below are to help you get setup, load the right data to the in-cab controllers and then import the captured yield data.

Setup in Gatekeeper
Setting up correctly before harvest saves time and helps to ensure good and accurate data is recorded. There are a number of key areas that should be set up in Gatekeeper before exporting setup data and importing yield data into Gatekeeper:

  • Primary Output products – Setup the products that are harvested, recorded in each field and later traded, for example Feed Wheat/Milling wheat
  • Create a Harvest Work Plan – this allows imported yield data to be organised and imported into Gatekeeper in the most efficient manner. Ensure the Harvest Work Plan has been issued with a Primary Output product for each Job, e.g. Feed Wheat.
  • Setup the Device – In the Devices module, setup the in cab display terminal that data will be imported from. If you have more than one Combine or intend to use multiple USB sticks/data cards you should add a uniquely named Device for each one. This allows each USB stick/data card to be identified by Gatekeeper and prevents import problems that may otherwise occur.

Setup on Combine and In-cab display

  • Clean down USB and carry a spare in case of loss or damage.
  • Clean down the internal memory of the Cab display so only the current years cropping is loaded and you are storing yields from the current year only. Importing data from USB sticks containing multiple year’s data is very confusing.
  • Ensure that the Moisture Meter and Mass flow sensor are clear of debris. Material can get caught behind the Mass flow Sensor which will affect yield calibrations.

Tips in the Field

  • Ensure that you have selected the correct field name within the Harvest Plan. If you have not created a Harvest Plan, select the correct field name before entering the field. As soon as recording is switched on, data positions are stored. Recording can be turned on by your header resume switch, so even when you are putting the header onto the combine, points could be logged under the wrong field name thus affecting field boundaries.
  • Calibrate each machine separately as they will not necessarily use the same CAL factor.
  • If possible calibrate the machine for each crop and even each variety.

And Finally ….

  • Always import the first yield map file for each crop to make sure that your Combine is recording correctly – do not go through your entire Harvest only to find you have not recorded any yield data!

Importing Yield in to Gatekeeper
Please also remember that when importing yield data, there are a variety of options that can assist with managing the data such as

  • Preview imported data by the job – allows you to view the data prior to completing the import so you can make sure you have things just as you want them.
  • Clip job plots to field boundary – will automatically cut away unwanted yield plot data that resides outside the field boundary in Gatekeeper.
  • Keep all out of work job plots – combines may or may not log some data as in work or out of work depending on the header being raised or down. This option will mean all plots are imported.
  • Work done uses outstanding field area – a combine will often travel large distances across each field which can result in a larger working area than the one recorded in Gatekeeper being recorded. This can cause the yield rates and values being distorted. This option will ignore the area worked by the combine and use the Gatekeeper working area as the completed area instead.
  • Auto find job field by GK Boundary – will automatically link the plot data to a field in Gatekeeper based on the GPS location of the yield plots in the file.Be aware that using ‘Auto find job field by GK Boundary’ can slow down the loading of the data. However it can highlight potential issues, for example where the data for multiple fields has been recorded against a single field (in other words the operator has not selected the correct field when starting a new field).

If you created a Gatekeeper plan in which to record your harvest data select, ‘Any destination job products matched by their order override the device file product names’ in the ‘Import Product Matching Mode’ box. This will ignore the combines harvested product names and import the yield data against the output product listed in the pre-defined Gatekeeper plan keeping your Gatekeeper data consistent and tidy.

Header Width
Some combines do not provide Gatekeeper with the combine header width which is a requirement to provide an accurate yield value for each plot. Where this is the case, an option will appear within the Import window so that you can define the full header width to ensure that all plots are given the correct width.

If you’re using Gatekeeper software and require support during harvest, our software support lines are open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm. Alternatively you can email gatekeeper@farmplan.co.uk and a member of the support team will be in touch soon.