Western Australian grain grower Darrin Lee knows first-hand that effectively setting-up and calibrating harvesting equipment can equate to ‘money in the bank’.
The Dongara/Mingenew grower, who is also chair of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) western panel, has been farming in WA’s northern agricultural region for more than 20 years.
Mr Lee says upcoming GRDC Harvester Set Up Workshops would provide practical, independent information to growers, giving them the confidence to make changes on-farm.
“These workshops bring Australia’s leading harvest specialists – industry experts and researchers – onto farms throughout the grainbelt to deliver the latest in effective harvester set up,” Mr Lee says.
“To actually go to a neighbouring farm, have each of the different makes of headers in the yard, and be able to see and hear from experts first-hand on what’s working and what isn’t, it’s great.”
Mr Lee says many growers attending the workshops were surprised by the efficiency gains possible through the use of pans and drop trays to measure harvest losses and calibrate harvester setup.
“Studies show that around four in every ten growers are using drop trays to measure harvest losses. That’s great, but we want to see that number higher. As growers we need to be taking every opportunity to put more grain in the bin – and money in the bank,” he says.
“Measuring harvest losses every day or multiple times a day can seem tedious to operators, but the payoff from adjusting the machine to minimise the loss is worth the hassle. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
“In addition to covering harvest losses, the workshops provide a deep dive into the range of issues that comprise harvest operations; capacity and efficiency, weed seed control and preventing harvester fires.”
GRDC grower relations manager Courtney Ramsey says the workshops had been developed in response to industry feedback and have attracted good attendance.
“Growers want more information about best-practice harvester set up because they know it can make a difference financially,” Ms Ramsey says.
“Industry specialists from different harvest support services are invited to participate and contribute their knowledge and experiences in optimising performance as part of the crowd-led discussions.
“Importantly, the workshops provide expert advice to growers in an independent, whole-of-industry forum – separate from commercial product endorsement, with presenters required to only speak to technology types without providing product-specific information – which is an essential part of GRDC’s role to invest in research, development and extension on behalf of grain growers.”
The forums will bring together harvester specialists, industry experts and researchers to discuss the following topics:
- Understanding the impact of harvest loss, how to measure it, how to change your harvester to reduce losses.
- HWSC latest information, sharing how to set-up for effective HWSC using mills systems, chaff decks and chaff lining.
- Reducing the risk of harvester fires.
- Improving harvester capacity and efficiency.
- Managing harvest operations, productivity, grain storage and economics.
Facey Group will deliver the free GRDC Harvester Forums across the western region at:
- September 12, Hyden
- September 13, Dunn Rock
- September 14, Nyabing
- September 15, Beverley
- September 22, Cunderdin Agricultural College
For more information or to register, visit the GRDC events page.