Sunday, 4 November 2012

If you can't measure it, you can't manage it!

We had the guys from our research organisation, BSES up the other day to measure harvesting losses. They have developed a very robust testing system that lets the harvester operator,(in this case Me)know how to minimize the losses from the harvester.I won't go into the whole process, basically they pick up all the residue from where the harvester has passed in a given area I think it was a couple of square metres back to bare soil, it is then mulched , and a portion is mixed with water and blended, then it is put in a press and the juice is then tested for a brix reading and that is correlated back to a tonnes of sugar per hectare basis.Our results were on par with industry standard but I did learn a few ways to tweak the forward speed and extractor fan speed to suit the crop. It appears that the larger the crop the more important it is to have correct harvester set-up. When you think about it, this harvesting operation is where the rubber hits the road so to speak, this is where we generate the income for the year.At the end of the day it all comes back to the numbers,and in our case we are quite happy to receive this advice and change the set-up a little, after all this is research that we have paid for!

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