4 tools to check harvest losses

Setting the combine to put more canola in the tank and leave less on the field is one way to improve canola profits. In preparation to measure harvest losses, have these four little tools at the ready:

Screen drop pan with seed in corner. Credit: Angela Brackenreed
Screen drop pan with seed in corner. Credit: Angela Brackenreed

1. Drop pan. Buy one or make your own. Whether using a full-width pan that drops from the bottom of the combine with a magnetic release, or a drop pan tossed under the passing combine or a pan on a stick, the key is to have a pan and a plan to use it. Know its square footage to help with the tables.

2. Sieves to separate seed from chaff. A set of the round sieves that elevators use are ideal. Another option is to use a deep pail and small blower (like a hair dryer) to blow the chaff off. Or just shake the sample and hand-pick the chaff.

3. Loss measures. Use a beaker to measure volume or a small container and scale to measure weight of the collected loss.

4. App or tables to do conversions. Print off this guide or load the SSCA Harvest Loss Calculator app on to your phone.

Dockage question: Growers may be asking themselves what the ongoing discussions with China about dockage means for harvest this year. Grower should continue to harvest their canola as they have in the past, producing the cleanest sample possible based on the harvest conditions and constraints they face.

Further reading:

How to measure harvest losses
VIDEO: Harvest management
PODCAST: Harvest management
Top 10 tips to reduce combine losses
Top 10 steps to prep for harvest