Trust, but Verify
Today’s consumers, including farmers, are constantly bombarded with products that claim to be the best. There have been companies that have tried to sell on combine protein monitors in the past, but their results haven’t been consistent enough to be reliable. One grower called his previous purchase “a random number generator”.
The CropScan 3300H has been tested for several years on farms in Australia, a very demanding environment. It has been so successful in Australia, that starting in 2016, it is an option on new New Holland combines. The system first arrived in the US during harvest of 2015 and more testing was done in Montana to insure that it was as accurate and reliable as it has been in Australia. The data comparing protein and moisture analysis done on the combine to the same analysis at the Montana State Grain Lab correlated over 90%, even when the samples were run through the CropScan again after harvest.
After agreeing to be the test site, the grower allowed Triangle Ag-Services and Next Instruments to mount the CropScan 3300H on one of his four combines. Reference samples from the local CHS elevator were run through the CropScan 3300H before harvest to fine tune the master calibrations that are stored in the analyzer. The crops were all hard red winter wheat and hard red spring wheat. Each combine had a yield monitor and GPS for mapping.
During harvest, the combine driver collected a sample from the combine bin twice a day for about 18 days of cutting. Each bag was marked with the date and time.
After harvest the samples were taken to the Montana State Grain Lab for analysis of protein and moisture using a Foss Infratec 1241 Grain Analyzer.
When the CropScan 3300H is mapping during harvest, each quality analysis has a time, date and location associated with it. The analysis results of each sample from the Montana State Grain Lab were compared with the analysis data from the map closest to the time and date on the sample bag. The comparison of the protein from the CropScan 3300H during harvest and the lab results have almost a 94% correlation.
To confirm those results, the samples were all poured back through the CropScan 3300H after harvest. The sample head can be easily adapted to run samples through while the combine is stationary. Once again the CropScan analysis and the lab analysis had about a 94% correlation. The CropScan 3300H is reliable and accurate.
The CropScan moisture analysis were compared with the lab analysis during harvest, resulting in a 90% correlation.
After harvest the CropScan moisture and the lab results correlated by 96%.