Stubble Management Optimiser

The Stubble Management Optimiser allows growers to calculate the overall financial and nutritional cost of managing stubble both at harvest and during post-harvest treatments such as baling or burning.

This decision support tool is part of the Stubble Initiative - Read more about the Stubble Initiative project here

More information: Stefan Schmitt, Ag Consulting Co, 0418 524 754,

How to use the Stubble Management Optimiser calculator

Harvest cost calculator

On the left-hand side growers can compare how different harvest speeds impact on the harvest cost per hectare and the hourly running cost. The hourly cost is calculated using the simple rule of thumb provided, or growers can follow this link to the more comprehensive Australian Custom Harvesters cost calculator.

Harvest cost

Post-harvest cost calculator

On the right-hand side growers can calculate the cost of post-harvest stubble management to prepare the paddock for sowing. This calculator compares the cost of common stubble management practices.

It also calculates the true cost of nutrient removal for stubble management practices where straw is removed or lost (such as burning, baling or narrow windrow burning), saving growers the difficult and time-consuming task of calculating these costs manually.

Growers can also compare the cost of harvesting fast and high at harvest and later returning for a second header pass to reduce the stubble load.

Profit calculator

Cost chart

Both sides of the calculator are brought together in the chart in the middle that shows the overall cost of stubble management and nutrient loss.

There is room to enter fertiliser prices on the bottom left of the screen. These are used in the nutrient loss calculations.

Cost chart

Cost to run harvester

Growers can set the ‘Cost to run harvester’ when they first use the calculator. This figure is used to calculate the costs on the left-hand side and the cost to process straw. The cost of a second pass is calculated on the right-hand side under ‘Process straw with harvester’. If growers need to factor in the additional cost of a stripper front this should be added to the ‘Cost to run harvester’.

Cost to run harvester