Farm Collector

Wasting Grain

Wayland, Iowa

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.

  • Published on Sep 1, 1957
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