Improving harvest efficiency

Improving harvest efficiency

Cropping
John Francis, Holmes Sackett, Wagga Wagga explaining the depreciation assumptions used in the economic modelling comparing draper and stripper fronts. Photo: supplied.

John Francis, Holmes Sackett, Wagga Wagga explaining the depreciation assumptions used in the economic modelling comparing draper and stripper fronts. Photo: supplied.

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The economics of changing from draper to stripper fronts was explained during the GRDC Farmbusiness Update in Wagga Wagga

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Grain producers have become more proficient at growing a crop during variable seasons, and during the GRDC Farm Business Update held in Wagga Wagga, John Francis, Holmes Sackett, Wagga Wagga delivered a paper from an economic rather than agronomic perspective on draper versus stripper fronts as a means of lifting harvest efficiency. 

The paper complimented work done on the analysis of the costs and benefits of disc versus tine seeding, and also presented to the seminar.  

Mr Francis’ key take home messages were:

- The most cost-effective means of increasing standing residue and improving harvest efficiency is increasing harvest height with existing machinery.

- Stripper fronts are an economic inclusion to harvest machinery where they replace draper fronts.

- Improved harvest efficiency drives adequate cost reductions to generate good returns on investment in stripper fronts.

- The addition of any benefits achieved from additional income during a wet harvest by reducing the extent of quality downgrading adds further weight to an investment case.

- The projected returns in this analysis are sensitive to business scale. Reductions in scale lead to reductions in returns on investment.

- The assumptions are based on limited stripper front experience thus ground-truthing with more data will be required to draw conclusions specific to circumstance.

- The inclusion of a systems’ specific benefits and reductions in the cost of wet weather at harvest will further improve the investment case for change.

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