Fifth-generation South Australian farmer Jim Maitland and his wife Katherine grow wheat at Amana Park near Rochester in the Clare Valley.
Mr Maitland, who has always maintained a strong interest in sustainable farming, said the family prided itself on producing only the best durum wheat for its fine food products.
He said that since adopting the Bushel Plus harvest loss management system about a year ago, he was already reaping the results.
“I use it mainly on set up and have recorded between one and 1.3 per cent savings in grain loss.
“This equates in dollar terms to about $29,600 in savings for every 1000 tonnes harvested.”
Mr Maitland said using the Bushel Plus system was safe and simple, and enabled the chaser bin operator to carry out the testing while allowing the harvester to continue.
“In some cases, the chaser bin can deploy the tray ahead of the harvester when retesting,” he said.
“The Bushel Plus system is highly effective and provides a great level of comfort while trying to maximise machinery output, as every rotor hour is costing us between $500-560/hour.
“By making the necessary changes in the set-up of the headers and then doing some recalibrations using the Bushel Plus app, it is easy to reduce the grain loss by quite a substantial amount.”
The Bushel Plus system is a magnet drop-pan system for measuring harvest loss and calibration of the combine. It is distributed exclusively by Primary Sales Australia and available through local farm machinery dealers.
Primary Sales CEO Peter Broley said the system was a highly effective tool for farmers to use right throughout the harvest.
“It is an integrated system which consists of a magnetic cover, drop pan and variable speed air separator.
“The system uses precise, dependable instruments that is easily temporarily installed under any harvester.
“It works by the operator taking grain samples from the chaff and other material coming out of the back of the combine.
“The operator only has to download the Bushel Plus app to calculate the harvest loss on their mobile phone, and this enables them to make the correct decisions when adjusting their headers.
“It also takes the guesswork out of estimating harvest losses; allowing farmers to get the most efficient grain production out of every crop.”