Canola Watch quiz: Harvest loss

Harvest loss could be higher than you think. Measuring harvest loss is the first step to managing (and minimizing) it.

1. You can't estimate how many black canola seeds the combine throws over by looking on the ground. It's hard enough with this image showing treated seeds on black soil. Looking at the seeds on the ground in the image, what do you think this represents in terms of bu./ac. loss?

2. Why do you have to disengage the chopper and spreader to do a proper drop-pan test?
3. Loss measurement requires an understanding of the combine's concentration factor. If the cut width (swath or straight-cut header) is 30 feet and the discharge width (the back end of the combine) is 5 feet, what is the concentration factor?
4. Losses found in the drop pan are measured by weight or volume and then plugged into handy harvest loss tables. (You'll see those tables after you click "submit" below and the review your answers.) We use weight or volume because counting the seeds will take WAY TOO LONG. If you have 3 grams of seed per square foot of drop pan and the concentration factor is 6, approximately how many seeds would be in the pan? (For a bonus, try to guess how many bu./ac. that would be.)