Measuring harvest loss
Every farmer wants to get the most efficient grain production out of every crop.
The new Bushel Plus combine calibration testing system enables farmers to do just that, and high-profile agronomist and Planfarm consultant Peter Newman, renowned for his work with Weedsmart and GRDC, is a strong convert to the new system.
Invented by Canadian entrepreneur Marcel Kringe, the Bushel Plus system is precise in determining how accurately a harvester is calibrated at any one time.
“The system is extremely effective. It lets farmers determine just how much grain they are losing behind the harvester – allowing them to take immediate steps to correct any inefficiencies,” Mr Newman said.
“The technology comprises a drop tray that is easily installed under any harvester – combined with an easy-to-use air separator – which means farmers can quickly and accurately separate the chaff from the grain in the field to test the harvester’s efficiency.
“Not only does this take all of the guesswork out of estimating harvest losses, it can potentially save farmers thousands of dollars.”
Mr Newman estimated about $90-million worth of canola was lost from the back of harvesters each year in Western Australia alone.
“When you look at these figures, I believe the acquisition of a grain-loss system
like Bushel Plus is a no-brainer for farmers,” he said.
“Indeed, for some farmers, they could save the entire purchase cost in the first day of using the system.”
Mr Newman said Bushel Plus could also be used with wheat and barley.
“Obviously, the ease of use of the Bushel Plus system is also a big plus, as is the availability of the quick and easy mobile phone app, which makes it easy for farmers to work out the best speed and settings on their harvesters in the field,” he said.
Mr Newman is also leading a targeted Grains Research and Development Corporation investment project on the grain-loss issue.
The project aims to quantify grain losses to help determine the economic value of the new grain loss systems in relation to harvester operating speeds, settings and grain loss.
His research includes the use of Bushel Plus portable grain-loss trays and he welcomes feedback from farmers in relation to their experiences using the new grain-loss tools.
Mr Newman’s experiences and findings can be followed on the @Harvestloss Twitter page or see his video on harvest loss at https://youtu.be/iin-dffhabs.
For more information about the Bushel Plus system people can visit site 137 at Mallee Machinery Field Days.
EFFICIENCY: Peter Newman, right, discusses harvest loss with growers. People can visit site 137 at Mallee Machinery Field Days to find out more.