There is no place on earth where a kernel of grain looks as large and is of so much value as at the tail end of a machine. To see some hunt and search for them one would think easy one a diamond or priceless gem. There is no time when a farmer is so careful of his property as right then. Any amount may be wasted by the harvester or in the handling of the grain, but let him discover a few kernel going into the straw through the machines and he at once loses his reason and imagines ruin stares him in the face. Se will show them to the operator with an autocratic air of 'do better or quit.'
In a bushel of oats, 32 pounds, there are about 600,000 kernels. In a bushel of wheat, 60 pounds, there are about 1,000,000 kernels. If he should happen to catch ten kernels in a half-minute, he would say it was half going in the straw. Let us see. Counting 26 days for a month and 10 hours for the day, it would take him over three months to catch a bushel of wheat. Well, suppose the machine to be 52 inches wide and his hand only two inches, and the grain wasting equally across the entire width, it would then take three days at the same rate to fill a bushel measure.
In order to waste five bushels in a day of 10 hours run, there would have to be 138 kernels escape every second; 8,240 every minute. It is very deceiving when the quantity of grain comes to be measured by the kernel. While most threshers are willing to do all in their power to save grain for their customers, the farmer should remember that absolute perfection is impossible, except by very slow threshing, and that the actual waste is but very small as compared to the amount threshed, and he is interested in having his work done up quickly.