Identifying fields that have standability, disease, stress, uneven maturity, or moisture content issues will help increase efficiency during harvest and minimize in-field losses.
Relative maturity and planting date can help estimate harvest time. Field history, crop rotation, the type of stress (environmental, pest, nutrient leaching, and others) can help predict which fields may have uneven maturity or fields that will need to be harvested early. With that information, you can do a pre-harvest survey of fields to find other issues that may require early harvesting to avoid losses.
A few other factors to consider to when determining harvest order:
1Woods, S.J. and Swearingin, M.L. 1977. Influence of simulated early lodging upon soybean seed yield and its components. Agronomy Journal. 69: 239-242.
2Holshouser, D. 2011. Hurricane Irene may be beneficial to Virginia soybeans… still lodging will lower yield potential. Virginia Cooperative Extension. 170902161300