The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) released a new web-based application to help producers with combine adjustments during harvest.
The combine optimization tool, developed on the council’s behalf by the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI), is meant to assist in setting the combine for canola harvest. The new tool can be found online alongside calculators for target plant density and seeding rates.
The combine optimization tool takes the traditional diagnostic settings flowchart and puts it into a web-based application a farmer can access on a mobile . Growers can go through a stepwise process based on the harvesting issue they’re experiencing (i.e. grain loss, grain sample quality or productivity) and review the adjustment options most likely to correct the issue.
Joel McDonald, program manager of agricultural development services at PAMI’s Humboldt, Sask. facility, noted the optimization tool can be used for any make or model of combine.
“It could be 25 years before most combines on the Prairies have built-in sensor technology that creates self-adjusting machines. Until then, there are tens of thousands of combines that rely on the operator and this guide is a new way for PAMI and CCC to reach them with the information they need when they need it.”
“In combine adjustments for all crops, we are trying to balance productivity with harvest losses and grain quality but most producers know firsthand the particular challenge this can pose for canola harvest,” council agronomy specialist Angela Brackenreed said in a release. “We often see an unacceptable level of loss that is frustrating to correct.”
In 2016, the CCC released a video explaining the loss measurement process and revamped its Combine Seed Loss Guide. Brackenreed said the combine optimization tool is a valuable follow-up.
“Simply suggesting that setting adjustments need to be made when there are high losses is much easier said than done, particularly with challenging harvest conditions.”