Using the Bushel Plus with iHSD to reduce harvest loss

Mixed crop farmer Craig Bignell and his family run a property at Broomehill near Katanning, WA, growing wheat, barley, oats, canola, lupins, field peas and vetch.

Mr Bignell began operating the Bushel Plus harvest loss reduction system last year, using a 2017 New Holland 9.90 combine fitted with a Harrington Seed Destructor (iHSD).

He said the results were good and he had noticed a marked reduction in harvest loss.

He added the Bushel Plus harvest loss system had really helped to simplify the testing by allowing him to identify the most problematic areas of grain loss and adjust the header to suit.

“The Bushel Plus system is very effective and can be used in conjunction with the iHSD,” said Mr Bignell.

“To check the sieve loss, we need to disconnect the belt to the Seed Destructor and remove the rear access door to allow the chaff to come out on the ground in a line.

“This usually only takes about 15 minutes and is not that time-consuming.”

Mr Bignell said another important factor in reducing harvest loss was choosing the right spot to do the testing.

“I usually choose an area that is not weedy and where conditions are not too tough,” he said.

“The reason for this is to ensure that when we are doing the test, we are not missing the opportunity to destroy weed or volunteer seeds.”

He added that this method also helped reduce any problems with straw coming out of the access door.

Mr Bignell said he used the results from the Bushel Plus to modify settings on the harvester where required and reset the sensors on the header.

“For example, we were getting some cracked grain in the Bushel Plus, so we slowed the rotors down and the cracked grain in the Bushel Plus disappeared; leading to more grain in the bin.”

“The evidence through social media told us we were wasting a significant amount of grain due to incorrect harvester setup,” Mr Bignell said.

“It would be naive to think it’s only everyone else and we aren’t guilty of it.”

He said the Bushel Plus system definitely made it easier to identify grain loss and its cause, more accurately.

It also meant he was now more likely to check for losses more often; leading to more grain in the bin and better productivity.

The Bushel Plus harvest loss system is a highly effective tool for farmers to maximise the grain in their bin.  Beneficial throughout harvest the Bushel Plus helps growers identify when they need to adjust their combine settings and re-calibrate their sensors to the conditions change during the day, as they move paddocks or change crop.

The integrated system consists of a magnetic cover, drop pan and variable speed air separator, and dedicated app for measuring harvest loss and storing your settings.

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.