Submitted to: Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Annual Report
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2002
Publication Date: 5/1/2002
Citation: SIEMENS, M.C., CORP, M.K., CORREA, R.F. EFFECTS OF HEADER MODIFICATIONS ON GARBANZO BEAN HARVESTING LOSSES. COLUMBIA BASIN AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH ANNUAL REPORT. SR 1040. P. 37-43. CORVALLIS, OREG.: OREG. STATE UNIV. IN COOPERATION WITH USDA-ARS, PENDLETON, OREG. 2002.
Interpretive Summary: Garbanzo bean (Cicer arietinum L.) production on the Columbia Plateau and in the Palouse is increasing. One of the problems associated with the economic production of garbanzo beans and other specialty crops is the lack of specialized equipment needed to seed, harvest and process the crop in a cost effective manner. Harvest losses for major crops like wheat, corn and soybeans are typically less than 7 percent, however when conventional equipment is used to harvest garbanzo beans, harvesting losses can be as high a 25 percent. In this study conducted at Pendleton, Oregon, special harvester attachments were found to reduce garbanzo bean harvesting losses. The study showed that harvesting losses for conventionally equipped combines were approximately 26 percent (255 lb/ac) of the harvestable crop (955 lb/ac). Utilizing double density guards reduced losses by 45 percent to 14 percent (139 lb/ac) and utilizing an air reel in conjunction with the double density guards reduced losses to a more acceptable 10 percent (102 lb/ac) level. Applying these findings to a commercial field, losses could be reduced by approximately 153 lb/ac with an increase gross revenue of $22.95/ac, assuming a 1,000 lb/ac yield and a price of $0.15/lb. Utilization of such technology has the potential to make a marginally economically viable crop a profitable one and is currently commercially available.
Technical Abstract: Due to the lack of specialized equipment, harvesting losses of garbanzo beans (Cicer arietinum L.) can be excessive as compared to other major crops. This study was conducted to determine if recently developed header technologies would reduce harvesting losses. Six different combine header configurations were investigated on a field site that yielded approximately 1,000 lb/ac in 2001. Equipment evaluated in the study included two types of knife guards, two guard attachments, a stripper header, and two types of pickup reels. Depending on the header configuration used, harvesting losses ranged from 11 to 26 percent. Double density guards were found to reduce losses by 45 percent (116 lb/ac) as compared to single density guards. Short and long plastic fingers, which attach to specially made double density knife guards, did not affect combine header losses, total loss, or yield when compared to the standard knife guard without the attachments. The experimental air reel tested reduced header losses by 30 percent, but this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.05). The stripper header had the highest losses (290 lb/ac) and least combine yield, but due to the improper header height used, the results found in this study may not be representative. Header losses were nearly identical to total combine losses for all experiments, indicating that header loss is the dominant factor in harvesting losses for garbanzo beans and that combine machine losses are minimal. The losses reported in this study may be higher than conventional field losses due to the late harvest date and the improper header height used. They do, however, suggest that garbanzo bean harvesting losses can be economically significant and that header configuration can dramatically affect harvesting losses.