Saving money has never been more important and an app developed by a contractor for croppers could help this harvest time.
The app costs just $22 but developer Rod Gribble says it can save grain growers tens of thousands of dollars every year by optimising the efficiency and productivity of all makes and models of combine harvesters.
The southern NSW harvesting contractor said HarvestCalc can be used to quickly measure grain loss and determine its economic impact based on crop yield, crop prices, operating speed and operating costs.
Operators can then use this information to adjust and then test the threshing and separation settings on their combine harvester.
Mr Gribble says all owners and operators can improve the efficiency and productivity of their combine harvester.
"Every combine harvester loses some grain within the machine itself or along the front," he said.
"Machine losses of about 1 per cent for cereals and about 2.5 to 3pc in canola are generally regarded as acceptable.
"Another 1-2pc can be lost along the front and even more in pulse crops.
"HarvestCalc gives you the ability to monitor grain loss, calculate its economic impact and then adjust the settings of your combine harvester with confidence."
The HarvestCalc system comprises of an app that works without mobile phone service and three grain collection trays.
"Before going to the paddock, you simply enter the make and model of your combine harvester, including head width, separator width and operating cost per hour and save that profile," he said.
"Once you're out in the paddock, stop the harvester and place three collection trays across the machine swath, including one under the machine itself, at least 50 metres ahead of the machine.
"Now operate your combine harvester over the location of the trays and stop.
"You then locate the trays, remove any straw and chaff and count, and ideally, weigh, the seeds in each tray.
"Now enter the type of crop, the type of test tray being used, whether your spreading or windrowing, the spreading width and your average speed.
"You then enter the number or weight of grains found in the separator tray and the head loss trays, the crop yield and crop and hit 'calculate'."
HarvestCalc will then automatically calculate grain loss and harvesting costs.
More news on the latest farm technologies can be found at www.farmonline.com.au/machinery/agtech-revolution/.
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