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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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ReMIX H2020 - Intercrops

First test for the combiner settings: harvesting intercrops in France

Intercropping harvesting INRA AGCO
© @Laurent Bedoussac
The harvest 2019 was the first year experiment to evaluate and optimize the harvesting machinery. The aim of this task, led by AGCO with the contribution of INRA Toulouse, is to determine the most suitable combine-harvesters settings to reduce losses during the harvest and make separation easier (e.g. diminishing the amount of broken grains). The experiment took place from 15th to 19th July in “Le Burgaud”, in South West France, in an organic farm of 130 ha.

Before starting the on-field experiment the project team had to drive the combiner from Toulouse to the farm, which is about 40 km…This took 4 hours, as some problems like small bridges not tall enough for the combiner, had to be faced.

intercrops harvest ReMIX 2

When finally arrived to the farm, project team members had to fix the cut bar to the combiner:  driver Andrea is well experienced and managed this task without problems.

intercrops harvest ReMIX 3

The first intercrop to be harvested was barley-pea; Alastair Morrison (AGCO) had to make some adjustments on the settings of the combiner and since the objective was to harvest very low to collect most of the peas, one of the fingers ended up braking apart.

After 3 passes ( colleagues from AGCO found the correct settings and close to 7 tons of barley-pea were harvested and packed in big bags.

On the second day ReMIX team harvested a wheat-lentil intercrop with some weeds,   which made the harvest more difficult (

intercrops harvest ReMIX 5

As for the previous day intercrop, it is very important to harvest very close to the ground; but since the team did not use a flexible cut, some soil (clay) went into the combiner and stopped it. However, after some tests, the settings found by project colleagues led to very nice results (no broken lentil except those with bruchids and no losses behind the combiner).

On the last day, the most difficult intercrop was harvested: wheat - faba bean, for which the difference in grains size makes the harvest quite challenging. Nevertheless, looking at the samples obtained, only very few broken faba bean grains were broken, suggesting that it will be possible to remove them at the separation stage.

To conclude this year, ReMIX team has new ideas for the experiment of 2020, such as using a flexible cut better adapted to specific soil conditions. Also it has been decided to change the experiment in order to make the transfer of knowledge more efficient. For that, a film will be produced, explaining how the AGCO engineers chose the settings to reach the optimal one: the consequences of changing some settings such as the fan speed, the combiner speed, the concave will be explained.

intercrops harvest ReMIX 1

All pictures by Laurent Bedoussac