Now in his second year of using the Bushel Plus grain loss measurement system, NSW farmer Josh Jager says he is very pleased with the results.
“Despite experiencing a fairly poor growing season last year, the Bushel Plus system has more than proved its worth,” Mr Jager said.
Producing crops that include wheat, canola, lupins, field peas, lentils and barley, Mr Jager uses two 2017 John Deere S680 combines with a John Deere header on his 10,500-ha farm at Hillston, about 100km north-West of Griffith, NSW, in the fertile Riverina.
“Using Bushel Plus has really opened my eyes to the grain losses we were experiencing, and allowed us to keep on top of it,” Mr Jager said. “Whereas before we were losing between eight and 10 percent of our wheat crop at harvest, on good days this can now be reduced to about two percent by using Bushel Plus.
“Also, with canola, our losses of up to 15 percent at harvest can be reduced down to only about two percent.”
Bushel Plus is an integrated system which consists of a magnetic cover, drop pan and variable speed air separator, and uses precise, dependable instruments that are easily 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; allowing farmers to get the most efficient grain production out of every crop.
Mr Jager added that using Bushel Plus had not only allowed him to get the best possible outcome but had also given him a good insight into how to farm more efficiently and effectively.
“Sure, it can take a bit more effort in terms of stopping and adjusting headers and so forth but recalibrating the settings doesn’t take that long, and it usually only needs to be done two or three times a day,” Mr Jager said.
“You can also accurately measure losses at the knife especially in lupins.
“Speed is the most crucial factor when trying to minimise loses through the combine.”
Mr Jager said last season’s crop had plenty of bulk (straw and chaff) but not so much grain, so using Bushel Plus had helped to get the most out of the harvest.
“It also made it very difficult to get capacity and losses to acceptable levels: it was a juggling act.
“This year’s harvest is looking good at the moment, although we can always use more rain,” he added.
“based on Josh’s saving of 8%-9% this would mean in a 1.5 tonne crop an extra $60,000-$70,000 in his pocket on just 2,000 hectare of his program. What he has done in checking his losses reinforces the work done by Peter Newman as part of his work with GRDC on harvest loss,” said Peter Broley from Primary Sales.
“Unless you measure it, you cannot manage it. That 20% of growers using drop-pans to measure and then recalibrate their sensors during harvest are putting an extra $20,000 back in their pockets is fantastic. Josh’s level of saving is similar to what we regularly hear from growers using the Bushel Plus.”
For information about the Bushel Plus visit www.primarysales.com.au. More stories from the GRDC GroundCover article “Harvest gains through online networking https://groundcover.grdc.com.au/grower-stories/western/harvest-gains-through-online-networking.