1. When you pull out the combine to get it ready for the season, look it over for holes and cracks in the pickup, feederhouse, elevator, shoe seals, separator covers and the grain tank. Canola seed can dribble out these openings even before it reaches the back end.
2. Check the range of settings for canola, as described in the combine operator’s manual. Are you within those ranges when you harvest canola? Check that automatic settings on newer combines are calibrated. For example, if the chaffer setting on the monitor says 18mm, take a ruler and check that the chaffer spacing is in fact 18mm. Later, when combining begins, test the level of loss based on these settings. Try one variable at a time and check losses between each adjustment.
3. Read the PAMI harvest loss guide.
4. Buy or build a drop pan. Drop pan options are described in detail in this article: https://www.canolawatch.org/2011/04/26/combine-clinic-helps-reduce-costly-losses/
5. Download the SSCA Harvest Loss Calculator http://www.ssca.ca/index.php/28-last-added-projects/72-ssca-harvest-loss-calculator