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Master of Agribusiness

Efficiency of Combine Usage: A Study of Combine Data Comparing Operators and Combines to Maximize Efficiency

Janel Schemper, Holdrege, Nebraska, defended her thesis, “Efficiency of Combine Usage: A Study of Combine Data Comparing Operators and Combines to Maximize Efficiency,” on May 2, 2014. Schemper is the Field Manager for Schemper Harvesting. She is a spring graduate from Kansas State University with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree. 

Schemper Harvesting is a family-owned and operated custom harvesting business that employs 20-25 seasonal workers. Fuel, labor and machinery are the biggest inputs in the custom harvesting business. As these costs have increased, so has the demand to increase efficiency and profitability. Understanding how to manage a custom harvesting business professionally and efficiently is the key to success.  With increased data availability due to precision agriculture, analyzing this data to increase efficiency becomes important.

“Though precision agriculture is an additional expense for the business, when used correctly it can improve productivity and operators can increase their overall efficiency. With the availability of data, the costs and benefits of precision technology can be further evaluated,” Schemper said.

Schemper examined the data collected from John Deere’s JDLink™ system to assess the efficiency of each of the company’s seven combines. Factors considered included machine efficiency and the impact of different combine operators. The goal of her thesis was to determine how the data could improve Schemper Harvesting’s overall performance.

Dr. Vincent Amanor-Boadu, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and Schemper’s thesis advisor, said, “Big Data is upon us and this research begins to provide insights into how producers and related agribusinesses can exploit this resource to enhance their economic performance.”

The full thesis publication can be found online on Kansas State University’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/17738.