WITH grain prices at record highs the last thing growers want to do is leave a valuable asset in the paddock after harvest.
Grains Research and Development Corporation data has found that as much as $75 a hectare can be lost in canola crops and $52/ha in chickpeas due to the grain not making it into the box at harvest time.
Given the record prices on offer this year with the same amount of losses as usual that figure will rise even higher.
To ensure harvest grain losses are kept to a minimum the GRDC has set up a series of grain harvester setup workshops through Queensland and NSW.
These sessions will focus on minimising grain losses, which can be up to 5 per cent in cereal crops in an ordinary year according to Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia data.
That figure can rise much higher in difficult seasons when crops, in particular barley, have lodged.
Pulses can also be problematic in terms of losses through the header, with the GRDC saying losses of up to 30pc were known to happen in some years in chickpeas, while small seeded canola is notoriously difficult to totally capture.
GRDC grower relations manager - north, Richard Holzknecht said the forums had been developed in response to industry needs.
"Growers have been asking us for more information about best practice harvester set up at the critical time," Mr Holzknecht said.
The forums 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).
There will also be a focus on how harvest losses can be accurately measured and identify where losses are occurring.
Mr Holzknecht 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," he said.
The GRDC harvester forum program will cover the following topics:
FarmLink will deliver the free forums at:
For more information contact FarmLink on 02 69801333 or email email@example.com.
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