Initial success in Harvestloss bodes well for Bushel Plus with the Seed Terminator

After just one season using the Bushel Plus harvest loss calibration system, north-east WA Wheatbelt farmer Dylan Hirsch has already achieved some good results.

He said using the Bushel Plus together with a Seed Terminator was relatively easy and involved a ‘two-step’ process.

“The first step is to measure the rotor loss out of the back of the chopper,” said Mr Hirsch. “we attach the Bushel Plus to the header front outside the wheel-lines so we don’t run over it.”

“And initially we tested on each side to determine where the greater rotor loss was”. He said he did occasionally have an issue with the wide-pan not falling straight and twisting as the spot where he placed the drop-pan on the header-front was not stable. He believes welding plates to the front where he wants to attach the drop pan to do his rotor measurement will counter the lack of metal on new fronts and provide a consistent point to do rotor tests from.

“Then we drop the chaff diverter door down (on the Seed Terminator) and do another run to find out the total losses.

“Of course, using the Bushel Plus system with the Terminator (it) can take a bit more time to measure your losses.

“Ideally it would be good to either drop the chaff out the back over the Terminator or have a capture sieve or rotor basket that you can insert temporarily above the mills to capture the chaff before it goes through the Mill. 

“I don’t know how it would be done, but I’m sure someone smart will soon figure it out, which will make loss measurements even easier again,” Hirsch added.

Mr Hirsch runs a 6000-hectare farm at Latham, north-east of Geraldton, together with his fiancé and parents.

Operating a 2019 John Deere S780 in conjunction with the Seed Terminator, Mr Hirsch added that bringing the harvest loss measurement down to a one-step process would also require a greater understanding of the rotor loss, and the ability to use the straight chop tray with the Terminator down.

“As it is, we can play around with the setup to help reduce grain losses, while destroying most of the remaining weed seeds at the same time with the Terminator,” Hirsch said.

Crops include wheat, barley, canola and lupins and despite last season being quite dry, he said the Bushel Plus system had performed very well.

“The way Dylan is checking losses makes a lot of sense” Says Dr Nick Berry from Seed Terminator. "By using the Terminator he is actually able to isolate where his loss is coming from (sieve or rotor). On a standard machine chaff and straw is mixed together making it difficult to tell if it is rotor or sieve loss". “when checking losses with a mill you have to be careful changing the dynamics of the cleaning shoe. Creating a big opening by pushing the chopper back or having a big trap door allows the air to escape much more easily than normal. With this big opening the sieve can behave very differently and the results can be misleading.” “What Dylan is doing is a little slow but is spot on”.  He says. Seed Terminator product specialist Joe Limbaugh relies on the Bushel Plus for combine setup. “we use our Bushel Plus all the time to help our customers set up their combines for maximum grain and weed seed capture, while minimising whole machine power and fuel usage. It really takes pain and the guesswork out of combine setup

The Bushel Plus harvest loss system is a tool for growers to maximise the grain in their bin.  Beneficial throughout harvest the Bushel Plus helps growers identify when they need to adjust their combine settings as conditions change, they move paddocks or change crop.

The integrated system consists of a magnetic cover that attaches to the header, two different drop pans for different stubble conditions and variable speed air separator, and dedicated app for measuring harvest loss and storing and sharing machine settings and crop details to learn more about the combine’s potential.

It works by the operator quickly and safely 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 Hirsch said  “it is difficult to give an exact measurement of reduced harvest loss after only one quite dry season, but a conservative saving amount would probably be in the region of 1.5% plus, per hectare,”.

He said most of the grain loss was from the sieve and therefore, it was important to try and ‘drill down’ those losses.

“If the rotor is set up right, we can get these losses down to negligible”.  He said he was looking forward to using the Bushel Plus to achieve greater savings in harvest2020 in what he hopes will be a better crop.