Each year the panel of judges at Ag Days' Innovation Showcase scrutinize, dissect, interview the creators and weigh the benefits of each entry; how does this innovation benefit the Ag industry as a whole?
This year the new online peer-to-peer help-mate website Combinesettings.com placed first in this week's Ag Technology category.
Father-son team, Pat and Trevor Scherman, brought two generations of experience and ingenuity together first with their SCHERGAIN drop pan, affixed behind a combine to measure the amount of loss during harvest.
From there they looked at the bigger picture, recognizing how fellow harvester operators can help each other with settings, machine speed, internal hardware and more, through a centralized info site.
Trevor and his wife, Michele, collaborated with Megan Madden to design the Combinesettings.com website.
"Obviously, each combine company works a little differently," explains Trevor. "We didn't know them all but we did know some of them. And we were trying to find a place to help everybody set their combines more accurately to be more efficient and to be able to put the most grain into that combine."
For Trevor it came down to numbers which led to a conversation in the middle of the field with his dad, Pat, about what their losses were, Trevor wanting a number to work with. Quantifying the loss through the drop pan method using volumetrics provides the number of bushels/acre loss.
"My dad ran combines for years and when I came back to the farm, I was more on the numbers side so I needed to know what the numbers were, what the loss is. So, we came together with the SCHERGAIN drop pan," explains Trevor.
"My wife, Michelle, who has her Ag Economics degree really wanted to know the numbers, so that's when the App tied those two together," he continues. "And with the younger generation, maybe they don't know yet how the combines work yet, because they haven't been into it and they're usually more technology and data-based. This is a way to bridge that gap, literally, between three generations."
Once the combine operators know their losses, they can go to the website with their make and model of their particular harvester, go on to the website and connect directly with their fellow operator who's running the same or close to the same machine.
The whole concept is peer-to-peer base and data-centric, and saves the combine operator from searching multiple online-social media platforms for answers. They can see who is operating similar equipment, ask questions and carry on.
The more farmers and machine operators who participate on the website, the greater the information base. The next step is to add AI (artificial intelligence) to the site to help speed that process up.
Scherman says the bottom line is "if you don't know what you're losing, you don't know how much you have to gain, and if you're wanting some help once you've figured all that out, combinesettings.com can help you out!"
The Scherman family farm is located at Battleford, Saskatchewan.
"So, when we tell you what we're finding, we're sharing from farmer to farmer," adds Trevor Scherman. "We're trying to help the industry, and we get more pride from people coming and shaking our hands telling us how much money we saved them, versus how much money we made off them."
Please listen to more with Trevor Scherman below!
For more information visit their website: Combine Settings – Let's harvest better, together.