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Peter Broley

Harvest Loss and integrated HWSC reduces weeds and puts more grain in the bin

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Victorian farmer Luen Credlin is using a chaff deck, Bushel Plus harvest loss system, and most recently, three-finger knife guards to help increase efficiency on the farm. He farms in the northern Wimmera of Victoria, grows canola, wheat, barley and lentils, among other crops.
Mr Credlin, who operates a 2017 New Holland CR9.90 combine with 40-foot MacDon FD75 header, said he had only used a chaff deck for one season, but had already noticed a marked reduction in weed seed distribution.

“The early signs are that distributing the weed seeds onto the three-metre wheel tracks is creating an increase in yield, although it is still a bit early to give an exact figure,” he said.
“However, when used in combination with the Bushel Plus harvest loss system and most recently the Primary Sales’ Allrounder three-finger knife guards, I am confident of some good results.”
Mr Credlin said the Bushel Plus system removed the guesswork by providing a quick and easy way to measure harvest losses: with adjustments to the harvester then being made to improve efficiency.

“The Bushel Plus is a great invention. It (separator) quickly clears away the chaff to leave the grain,” he said.

Bushel Plus Harvest Loss Measurement Integrated with HWSC

“I simply weigh the grains on the pocket scales provided, enter the result into the phone app, and then calculate how much crop we are losing and where.”
“What Luen is doing in checking his losses and changing his header settings to maximise his productivity reinforces the work done by Peter Newman as part of his work with GRDC on harvest loss,” said Peter Broley from Primary Sales. “More than 20% of growers using drop-pans to measure and then recalibrate their headers were putting an extra $20,000 back in their bin. “Measure it and you can manage it.

Harvester setup Workshop at Luen Credlin’s farm 2019

Mr Credlin is a fourth-generation farming family he operated the business with his wife and father in-law.
“We have recently installed the Primary Sales Allrounder three-finger knife guards with the replaceable wear strips, and I am really looking forward to seeing the difference they will make on extending knife life,” he said.

“I am also a firm believer in buying Australian manufactured machinery, which is why we purchased an Australian-built seeder and chaser bin.
“Hence I am using Australian-based Primary Sales to source equipment, including the chaff deck and Allrounder 3-finger Knife guard,” he added.
Peter Broley said “Our All Rounder Adapt-a-Gap three-finger knife is suitable for light to heavier crops with the 34mm gap being able to be an be adapted using the snap-on cereal finger extensions. This improves Luen’s efficiency when harvesting his pulse crops or where the harvesting in lighter crop conditions and therefore reducing his losses”. He said we are proud to be the only Australian manufacturer of knife guards and produce 2, 3 and 4-finger knife guard kits to suit all the popular front from John Deere, Case, New Holland, MacDon, Claas, Honeybee, Agco and Midwest.

To read more on GroundCover article “Harvest gains through online networking”.

4 years and a combine upgrade proves Chaff Decks low cost HWSC answer

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Giles family has been farming in North Central Victoria for five generations.  Along with his father Stuart, Tim Giles runs their 2000-hectare operation Nerrina Farms, near Charlton in the Victorian Southern Mallee; where they grow a diverse rotation of wheat, barley, canola, lupins, faba beans, field peas and oaten hay.

Tim said they used a 2019 John Deere S780 combine for the 2019 harvest, in tandem with an EMAR chaff deck, as part of a Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF) system to help reduce herbicide resistant weeds.

Prior to purchasing the John Deere S780 last year they had run a S670 combine for three years with the EMAR chaff deck system, switching the EMAR across to his new combine without hassle or cost.
“While no system can be 100 percent effective, we have already noticed a significant reduction in weed infestation since we started using the EMAR chaff deck,” Tim said.

“It is a great system as it places the chaff portion of the harvest residue, including harvested weed seeds, onto the wheel tracks (tramlines) behind the combine.

“This means the weeds are fighting to grow in a more competitive and hostile environment due to the higher concentration of plants and harder compacted soil in that area.
“We are currently still seeding our tramlines, and on the seeder, we have an extra hose to each of the tynes on the tramlines.

“This effectively doubles the rate of seed sown in the tramlines for even more competition where we know the ryegrass is going to be.”

Tim added that using the chaff deck system also helped to significantly reduce dust when summer spraying.

“This is beneficial because in normal conditions the dust being lifted from sprayer wheels can have a negative impact on herbicide efficacy,” he said.

“The current EMAR chaff deck has not significantly increased running costs and the initial purchase price was a small cost to pay in the battle against resistant weeds.”

He said that on the farm, they had been moving towards a greater take-up of CTF for the past five years or so.

“With all machine widths now matching and some machines on three-meter wheel centres, it’s a system that does take time to move across to.”

Tim said the aim of CTF in general was to improve soils by avoiding random heavy machinery traffic, and the chaff deck system fitted in well to add another layer to the CTF practices.

The Emar chaff deck is simply another tool in their ‘integrated weed management’ program to help reduce weed seed numbers and slow the further development of herbicide resistance, Tim added.