Producers are encouraged to make important calculation to maximize returns

HUMBOLDT – Saskatchewan crop producers are being encouraged to make an important calculation to ensure they are maximizing their returns this harvest season.

Joel McDonald, program manager of Agricultural Development Services at Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) in Humboldt, said knowing the rate of combine loss—the amount of crop that ends up on the ground after a pass—is key to making well thought out economic decisions about harvest.

“When you ask how much loss is acceptable, how many bushels per acre or what percentage of yield, there is no wrong amount,” said McDonald. “The error comes if you don’t know how much you’re losing or haven’t considered it.”

The problem is that checking for loss takes time and effort. “The best way to check for loss is to disengage the chopper and spreader to drop the residue in a windrow, and then drop or throw a loss pan under the combine while harvesting at a steady rate. Then, the operator or a helper needs to separate the dust, chaff and straw from the grain in the loss pan.”

The final step is to do a calculation to determine the bushels per acre, said McDonald. Multiplying the grain loss rate by total acres and commodity price could result in significant numbers. “It’s possible to lose over five bushels an acre so I recommend that you check for loss as you get into each crop each year. I’ve done these calculations and often the answer is a simple adjustment or slowing down.”

It is well documented that higher speeds result in higher loss, said McDonald, but going faster also means covering more acres per hour and fewer days to completion. Only by knowing the loss rate can a producer calculate, for example, whether it makes financial sense to slow down, recover more crop and invest that saving in an additional combine. “That’s where the economic decision comes in.”

McDonald said critical decisions about fleet operations are sometimes made by feel or tradition and not based on data. “A producer can make $20,000 from a good marketing decision but he could also make $20,000 from a good combining decision.”

Experts Share Practical Advice For Managing Cow-Calf Efficiencies At 19th Annual Field Day

HUMBOLDT, SK – Western Beef Development Centre (WBDC) is hosting Chip Hines, retired rancher, author and public speaker from Colorado at the 19th Annual Summer Field Day June 20 at Termuende Ranch, east of Lanigan, SK.

During Hines’ session, entitled “Managing for Efficiency”, he will share what he has learned during his 50-plus year career about the importance of working with nature when making marketing, genetic and grazing decisions in order to be efficient and profitable as a cow-calf producer.

“At Western Beef, we strive to research practices and technologies that are relevant and adoptable by producers in order for them to be competitive and profitable in the cow-calf sector.  Chip’s views on the importance of managing for efficiency, knowing costs and continuous learning are very much in-line with Western Beef’s, so it a pleasure to have him come to the Field Day and impart his wisdom,” says Kathy Larson, WBDC Economist.

The Field Day will also feature afternoon field tours and presentations from researchers and veterinarians from the University of Saskatchewan, Prairie Agriculture Machinery Institute, Western Beef Development Centre, Merck, Delta Genomics, and Watrous Animal Hospital. The day will conclude with a steak supper ($15 per plate), which is organized by a local Lighthorse 4-H Club. The complete agenda is enclosed.

“Each year we look forward to sharing current research findings and relevant industry information with producers. This year’s field tour will feature 15 minute talks from nine different presenters on topics ranging from parasites to parentage,” says Dr. Bart Lardner, Senior Research Scientist, WDBC.

In the past, WBDC Field Day events have attracted about 150 to 220 producers from across Western Canada who are interested in learning how they can improve their cow-calf management practices.

WBDC is transitioning to the Livestock Forage Centre of Excellence at the University of Saskatchewan, effective March 31, 2018. The WBDC has been operated for the past 12 years by Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI).

For more information about the Field Day and directions to the ranch, visit

The Western Beef Development Centre, a division of PAMI, is a leader in collaborative applied research for the beef and forage industries, identifying and communicating opportunities for profitable innovation. Its mission is to collaboratively link lab and land for the competitiveness and sustainability of the cow-calf industry in Saskatchewan.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kathy Larson | Email:  |  Mobile: 306-930-9354

SaskCanola and PAMI Celebrate 25 Years of Working Together

SaskCanola and PAMI Celebrate 25 Years of Working Together


In conjunction with the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Association, we are conducting research on pulses. We are looking for producers in Central Saskatchewan who have grown soybeans previously & plan to use granular in-furrow inoculant. We need small samples and a bit of your time!

What’s in it for you?
-> Compensation
-> Assistance with calibration during seeding
-> A copy of all research results

Help us improve soybean yields in Saskatchewan through supporting this important research.

Contact Amie at or 403.804.5456 (texts welcome!)


PAMI Board of Governors Chair inducted to the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Tim Oleksyn, Chair of the PAMI Board of Directors, on his induction to the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame this past weekend. We celebrate you and your lifetime of success.


“Leave it alone” is best for summer canola storage in bins

Not turning or aerating canola in bins during the summer months may be the best approach in reducing the risk of spoilage if canola was cool and dry when it went in the bin, according to research conducted by a team of agricultural scientists from Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI).

“Over the course of two separate studies conducted in 2014 and 2016, we found little to no risk of spoilage when canola was just left alone provided it was cool and dry at the start of spring,” says Dr. Joy Agnew, Research Scientist – Agriculture & Bio-Products, PAMI.

Producers are storing increasingly more canola in bins during the summer months due in part to year-round delivery contracts, growth in market and production, and increased bin capacity. Determining the best management practices to maintain proper temperature and moisture in the bins during the prairies’ hottest months spurred new questions from producers, which initiated this research. This most recent project was funded by Government of Saskatchewan – Ministry of Agriculture’s Agriculture Development Fund under the federal-provincial Growing Forward 2 program, Canola Council of Canada, Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission, Alberta Canola Producers Commission, and Manitoba Canola Growers.

Agnew and her team compared three common approaches to managing bin temperature and moisture: leaving it alone, no handling; aerating, forcing air through the bin; and turning, removing the canola from the bin and putting it back to redistribute cold or warm spots. They then monitored the temperature during June, July and August in three 3,500 bushel bins at one location using unique sensors installed inside the bin. They also intermittently monitored five additional bins at different locations using temperature sensing probes to collect data from a wider range of bin sizes and initial grain conditions.

“While this research does suggest less canola handling is better, it is still very important producers monitor the temperatures and moisture in their bins, particularly in the spring and summer when temperature differences are most likely to occur,” she says. “There are many variables that can affect the temperature and moisture in the bins, and producers must monitor the grain conditions on a regular basis.”

For a report summary and the complete research report, click here.

PAMI Open House & Tour

Your FUTURE is right here!

Monday, March 20, 6:30 to 8:30 PM

@Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute, Humboldt, SK

PAMI will hold a special student event to educate youth about the exciting work they do right in the heart of Saskatchewan – from research and development work in the mining industry to military and defence projects to agricultural machinery testing and improvement, bio-research, and crop research. The global market is on our doorstep and no problem is too big or too difficult! Consider a stimulating, cutting-edge career with the bright and innovative minds at PAMI!

Free pizza! Free ride from Saskatoon!

Click here for the poster!

Bus leaving Saskatoon at 5:30 PM
Pizza supper @6:30
Tours of facility and work stations
Bus leaves for Saskatoon @8:30

Please register by March 15
via email: — “March 20 Event” in subject line
or phone:     1.800.567.7264
or text:         306.370.2475

PAMI Supporting NRCan’s Energy Innovation Program

The Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) can support applicants of the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Energy Innovation Program (EIP) by providing research and development (R&D) services, conducting demonstration projects, and front-end engineering design (FEED) studies.


The Government of Canada has made a strong commitment to energy technology innovation that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by generating and using energy cleanly and efficiently. To support that commitment, NRCan has a call for proposals under the Energy Innovation Program (EIP) in the following strategic areas:biosgas_pic

  • Renewable, smart grid and storage systems
  • Reducing diesel use by industrial operations in northern and remote communities
  • Addressing emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector
  • Carbon capture, use, and storage
  • Improving industrial efficiency

The final date for submissions is October 31, 2016. Specific program details can be found at NRCan’s website.


PAMI’s Applied Bioenergy Centre works with NRCan, the agricultural community, and academia to develop bioenergy sources and advance new and existing mechanical technologies to harvest, process, densify, and convert biomass into energy. Past collaborations involved

  • anaerobic digestion,
  • biomass densification, yield trials, and life cycle logistic studies,
  • demonstration of pilot-scale plants, and
  • verification of new technologies.


Should EIP applicants require engineering and biosystem support, PAMI’s key capabilities include

  • project management,
  • multi discipline engineering – technical readiness levels 2 – 9,
  • biosystems research,
  • technology testing and demonstration, and
  • economic analysis.

If you are interested in collaborating with PAMI on your EIP application or any bioenergy or bioproduct related project, please contact Dr. Joy Agnew ( or 1-800-567-7624 ext 280.

Finalized Research Update 768 Released

Finalized Research Update 768 Released

Research Update 768

Research Update 768