Growers are showing new energy in harvest loss management this week, sparked in large part by Angela Brackenreed’s excellent cover article in the September 2014 issue of Canola Digest. Read it here.
For more tips on how to measure harvest losses, read this Canola Watch article and download the “Seed Loss Guide.” When using the loss guide, note these two important steps that may not be clearly described:
1. You need to slide or lift the spreader out of the way before using a drop pan so all chaff and straw drop straight down out the back of the combine.
2. You also need to compute for pan size. When using table 2 on page 2 of the Seed Loss Guide to calculate losses, you need to know the weight of seed collected per one square foot of pan. Multiply the width and length of your pan to figure out the area in square feet. If it’s two square feet, for example, then you need to divide the weight or volume of seed in the drop pan by two to get the amount per one square foot. Then you plug that number into the table. This is less confusing than multiplying the values in the table by 2 (or whatever number matches the square footage or your pan), as the guide suggests.
To simplify calculations even further, download SSCA’s Harvest Loss App from iTunes. An Android version is close to ready. You can email email@example.com to check on availability of a download. For more on how the app works, listen to this podcast with its creator, Tom Wolf.