Impact of harvester on profitability

Awareness of cleaning losses on harvesters has increased rapidly in recent years, and this has driven lower extractor fan speeds which has, in turn, caused other problems and exacerbated other sources of loss. Similarly, “slowing down” reduces pour rate and improves cane cleaniliness, however the effect actually achieved depends on a large number of factors. Slowing down in one paddock will not necessarily have the same financial costs and benefits as a similar level of speed reduction in another field.

Negotiations with Harvesting Contractor

Growers and harvesting contractors often have competing priorities. Where the grower’s return is driven by recovered yield, and more importantly, cane quality (CCS), the harvesting contractor is generally paid only on tonnes recorded at the mill, regardless of quality. As a result, the contractor does best financially when he minimises his per tonne cost of harvesting. This will rarely result in the grower maximising his return from the crop. In order to avoid this compromise, the contractor either has to absorb higher operating costs for no reward, or the grower needs to pay more for harvesting, without being able to quantify the benefit. 

SCHLOT puts all the information on the table, and lets the grower and contractor jointly find a harvesting strategy and price that puts more money in both pockets.


Calculate actual harvesting costs

SCHLOT’s Harvesting modules are a great tool for harvester operators to calculate actual harvesting costs, and the required charge rates to cover costs depending on the field, crop, conditions and instructions from the grower. SCHLOT allows the harvesting contractor to “tailor” costs used in the model based on known costs for harvesting in that area, including differences in consumables and maintenance costs. 

Calculate benefit of slowing down

SCHLOT allows the contractor to offer his customers a ‘premium’ or ‘value added’ service, tailored for different blocks, and at a cost which reflects actual cost differences above “standard practice”. SCHLOT analysis indicates that in some fields, there are limited net benefits of this option, where-as in other fields the net benefit can be several hundred dollars/hectare. 

Negotiating Tool

The transparency provided by SCHLOT allows growers and harvesters to find a harvesting strategy and corresponding cost that leaves both parties better off. Finding the ‘fair’ price for an optimised harvesting strategy both maximises returns for growers, and ensures the viability of harvesting contractors.

Pre-harvest negotiations with customers, utilising SCHLOT, allow the contractor to target workable contract sizes.


Whole value chain modelling

SCHLOT’s whole of value chain modules allows Millers to evaluate the impact of different harvesting behaviours on to whole value chain, including transport costs, milling rates, sugar recovery and bagasse and molasses production. SCHLOT’s mill modules are highly configurable, allowing mills to be individually modelled in SCHLOT, for tailored results. 

Calculate Incentives

The generic Australian Cane Price Formula does not give a good measure of the ‘value’ of cane to the mill. Because of this, many millers have established incentive programs to drive alternative harvesting strategies and outcomes. 


Tailored products for Consulting and Finance users are available, and allow users to conduct detailed scenario analysis, risk assessment and reporting. Please call us to discuss your requirements further.