Correct harvester set-up yields results: GRDC workshops

Date: 31 Aug 2021

image of harvest
GRDC will offer a series of free harvester forum workshops across Victoria designed to help growers to reduce grain losses and improve profitability. Photo GRDC

Ensuring your harvest machinery is set-up correctly can be a critical part of maximising on-farm profitability at the end of the growing season.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) and Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) suggest the average farm growing 324 hectares of canola experiences harvest losses of about $24,300 each year.

To assist growers to reduce these losses and streamline operations at harvest, GRDC is running a series of half-day forums across Victoria this season.

GRDC Grower Relations Manager – South, Courtney Ramsey said the forums had been developed in response to industry concerns.

“Growers want more information about best practice harvester set up because they know it can make a difference financially,” Ms Ramsey said.

“Research supports this with income losses from canola left on the ground during harvest estimated at about $75 per hectare.”

The half-day forums led by industry experts will provide information and discussion around preventable harvester losses, improvements in efficiency and output, calibrating harvester technology, reducing the risk of harvester fires and methods of harvest weed seed control (HWSC).

These practical, interactive forums will also demonstrate how harvest losses can be accurately measured and identify where losses are occurring.

Ms Ramsey said while not all grain losses could be prevented, losses associated with machinery settings and configuration could be minimised, and these forums could give growers and operators the confidence to make changes to maximise their returns.

“Measuring harvest losses every day or multiple times a day can seem tedious to operators, but the payoff from adjusting the machine to minimise the loss is worth the hassle. You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” she said.

“We will also have industry specialists from different harvest support services speaking at the forums and offering practical demonstrations because it is important to acknowledge that there are differences in machinery set-up depending on the environment.”

The GRDC harvester forum program will cover the following topics:

  • Understanding the impact of harvest loss, how to measure it and how to change your harvester to reduce losses
  • Latest HWSC information, including how to set up for effective HWSC using mill systems (iHSD, Seed Terminator, Redekop Seed Control Unit) chaff decks and chaff lining
  • Reducing the risk of harvester fires
  • Improving harvester capacity and efficiency
  • Managing harvest operations, productivity and economics.

The forums will feature presentations and discussion by industry specialists including Dr Michael Walsh (Sydney University); Adrian Roles (JMAJ Precision); Kassie van der Westhuizen (John Deere, Goldacres); Vernon Cogswell (Harvest Support Services).

Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) will deliver the free GRDC Harvester Forums across the southern region at:

Growers and advisers can register for these events through the GRDC events page or by calling the BCG office on (03) 5492 2787.

Contact details

Contact

Toni Somes, GRDC
0436 622 645
Toni.somes@grdc.com.au