More grain in the bin, more dollars in the pocket with harvester forums

Author: | Date: 07 Sep 2020

image of harvest
To support growers in their efforts to reduce harvest losses and improve operations at harvest time, the GRDC is hosting a series of free-of-charge harvester forums. Photo: Evan Collis

Grain losses during harvesting equate to significant lost income for growers across Australia every year.

To support growers in their efforts to reduce harvest losses and improve operations at harvest time, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is hosting a series of free-of-charge harvester forums.

The half-day forums will focus on harvest loss reduction, harvest weed seed control (HWSC) and prevention of harvester fires.

Growers, advisers and contractors participating in the forums will learn from their peers about the strategies they employ to improve harvest practices.

The harvester forums will be facilitated events and will also feature presentations by industry experts to assist growers in ensuring more grain goes in the bin.

GRDC Grower Relations Manager – South, Courtney Ramsey, says the forums have been organised in response to grower needs.

“Research has shown that in some instances significant amounts of grain are being left on the ground during harvest, representing average income losses of $75/hectare in canola,” Ms Ramsey says.

“According to Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) farm survey data, average farm grain losses at harvest equate to $96,000 each year.”

Ms Ramsey says the practical, interactive forums will demonstrate how harvest losses can be accurately measured and identify where losses are occurring. The forums will also focus on options for harvest weed seed control and how to get the best benefit for hard to control weeds whilst maintaining efficiency of operations, as well as minimising risks of harvester fires.

“Measuring harvest losses every day or multiple times a day can seem tedious to operators but with close to $100,000 in average farm losses on the line, the payoff in adjusting the machine to minimise the loss is worth the hassle. If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

Co-ordinated by Primary Sales, the forums are being held across the southern, northern and western grain growing regions.

For Victorian growers, advisers and contractors, an online forum will be held on Thursday, September 10, from 1-3.30pm. It will feature:

  • Marcel Kringe (Canadian technical agronomist and founder of Bushel Plus) and Ben White (Kondinin Group), harvest loss costs and where grain is lost from the bin, and reducing harvester fires
  • Peter Newman (Planfarm), harvest weed seed control – how to get it right
  • Wimmera Mallee growers, sharing examples of their strategies and systems.

In South Australia, forums will be conducted at regional locations:

  • Ungarra on Monday, September 21, 9am-1.30pm. Ungarra Complex
  • Maitland on Tuesday, September 22, 9am-1.30pm. Grower property – details provided upon registration
  • Pinnaroo on Wednesday, September 23, 9am-1.30pm. Pinnaroo Football Club
  • Moorlands on Friday, September 25, 9am-1.30pm. Grower property – details provided upon registration.

The SA forums will feature experts Chris Preston (University of Adelaide), Sam Trengrove and Stuart Sherriff (Trengove Consulting), James Barr (Seed Terminator), Keith Hopkins (Primary Sales), Ben White (Kondinin Group), Craig Davis (Craig Davis Agronomy) and Ben Wundersitz (Maitland grower), plus additional regional specific grower presentations.

Topics include understanding the impact of harvest loss, how to measure it and how to change your harvester to reduce losses; the latest HWSC information, sharing how to set up for effective HWSC using mill systems, chaff decks and chaff lining; and reducing the risk of harvester fires.

Details about the Victorian forum can be found on the GRDC website at For registration enquiries, contact BCG at or via  0418 304 695.

Details about the SA forums can be found on the GRDC website via For registration enquiries, contact AgCommunicators at or via 08 8332 3277.

Attendance at the SA events will be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Contact details

For interviews

Courtney Ramsey, GRDC
0428 274 018


Sharon Watt, GRDC Communications Manager – South
0409 675 100

GRDC Project code: PRS2005-001SAX