Following a trial in Germany, farmers reported reduced combine costs by up to €36.00/ha through the implementation of the Stubble Management system.

Undertaking their own tests, the farmers used a combine with a 9.0m cutter bar and increased normal stubble levels from around 15cm up to a height of approximately 35cm.

Evidence was recorded of faster crop residue decomposition, reduced fungus levels and pesticide carry-over…

The farmers also reported a reduction in fuel consumption from 20 litres/ha to 12 litres/ha. Similarly, the combine operational capacity increased from 3.6ha/hr to 5.4ha/hr, equating to a total saving of €36.00/ha.

Utilisation of a 9.1m mower with a 150kW (200hp) tractor (including diesel costing €0.80/litre) was calculated at €10.00/ha. The mower required 2.5litres/hr of fuel and achieved a work rate of 12ha/hr.

Adopting the Stubble Management approach, the increased work rate of the combine and the higher operational capacity of the mulcher resulted in completion of both operations in less time than it would normally take to complete the harvest.

The farmers were also quick to identify further benefits in addition to the significant time and fuel savings experienced.

Evidence was recorded of faster crop residue decomposition, reduced fungus levels and pesticide carry-over in addition to speedier germination of weed seeds, all of which further reduced the time and cost of preparing for the subsequent crop.

Another key consideration that was noted through cutting stubble at a higher level was the reduced risk of damage to the combine caused by stones and other obstructions.