Time to halve canola harvest losses

Published: 20 Aug 2019

One way to harvest more canola and bank more profit is by taking the time to set up the harvester according to crop conditions to minimise the amount of grain falling to the ground. The small size of canola creates two challenges during harvest:

  • large volumes of canola can be lost falling to the ground because of incorrect harvester set-up; and
  • canola losses on the ground are difficult to see and measure.

Key Points

  • Canola losses are estimated at $191 million nationally
  • An estimated $98 million of canola is lost out the back of harvesters in Western Australia alone
  • Grain losses from the rear of harvesters can be reduced by using home-made or commercial drop trays that help to accurately measure grain losses
  • Experts suggest setting up the harvester according to the settings written in the harvester manual and then measuring the losses using a drop tray
  • After measuring actual losses, change one setting at a time with the aim of reducing canola losses before measuring actual losses again
  • During 2018, 10 WA growers measured canola losses with drop trays from the Bushel Plus Multi Calibration System and ScherGain Solution System
  • Some of the growers reported picking up more than $50,000 of extra canola by using the drop trays to refine their harvester settings

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Region: National

GRDC Project Code: PLN1803-001SAX,