Mea­sur­ing har­vest loss

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Front Page -

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

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.

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