BY LOUISE CARDUNER / / Page 28, September 27 Issue

Louise Carduner, customer service rep with Parrish & Heimbecker at Quill Lake, Saskatchewan, was most impressed with Pat and Trevor Scher- man. The father and son, who farm together at Battleford, Saskatchewan, demonstrated their drop-pan system to measure harvest losses.

“I love meeting farmers who are so passionate about what they do,” Carduner says.

The Schermans’ ScherGain heavy plastic drop pan connects to the underside of almost any combine make or model by magnets. With the chopper and chaff spreaders disengaged and the combine moving at the desired speed and settings, the combine operator uses a small remote key fob to release the magnets and drop the pan.

After removing the chaff and straw by hand and with screens, collected seed goes into a “grain gauge” for Scher- Gain’s simple evaluation method. The reading on the gauge cross-referenced to the cut width (swather or straight-cut header) will tell you the losses in bu./ac. For example, in canola if the gauge reads 70 and the header width is 35 feet, the loss is 2 bu./ac.

Their pamphlet says: “The most money per hour you will ever make farming is setting your combine and know- ing your losses.” Whether it’s the “most” money is subject for debate, but the CCC expects overall average canola yields across the Prairies could increase by at least 2 bu./ac. with improved harvest management. Reducing losses is a big part of the message.

“Harvesting at 2.8 mph seems too slow for a 500-horse- power combine, but you never know the right speed and settings until you measure losses,” Trevor says.

—Carduner recorded and tweeted a short video about the pan while she was at canolaPALOOZA. It generated an immediate bump in sales for ScherGain and, as Carduner says, “demonstrated again the power of social media.” Follow her on Twitter at @LouiseCarduner.