Roma harvester creates chickpea money saver

Roma harvester Kerry Sheahan creates own chickpea concaves


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With chickpeas fetching quite a dollar, a Roma contract harvester has created a simple invention that can save grower's money.

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Roma's Kerry Sheahan has been making and selling his own custom made chickpea concaves for Case headers.

Roma's Kerry Sheahan has been making and selling his own custom made chickpea concaves for Case headers.

A ROMA contract harvester has created his own custom made chickpea concaves for his Case header after becoming frustrated at the amount of cracking and loss of quality during harvest.

Three years ago Kerry Sheahan began making calls trying to find concaves to fit his Case header that would better suit the chickpeas he was harvesting.

Not only was he becoming disgruntled by the affects it was having on the quality of his client’s crops but also on that of his own property, Delamere.

“In the states they don’t grow many chickpeas so they don’t make specific concaves,” he said.

The custom made concaves on the left compared with an original concave on the far right.

The custom made concaves on the left compared with an original concave on the far right.

“The ones they supply either over thrash and crack them or don’t thrash them at all.”

Unable to find anybody filling the growing need, Mr Sheahan took matters into his own hands and found a Brisbane company to cut a profile he had successfully trialled.

Mr Sheahan said the design was in the middle of the small and large concave settings offered by Case. 

“They’re a half moon with bigger steel ribs running around them,” he said.

“I get the profile cut out in Brisbane and they send it out in a flat pack and I make them here.” 

Originally Mr Sheahan had just made the concave for his own header but word quickly spread.

He has since been selling the sets for $1260 including GST to those who have requested them but can’t keep up to the demand.

He said people had suggested he patent his concave idea but he didn’t think it was anything fancy, just a practical way to increase capacity and quality of the product being harvest.

Mr Sheahan was busy working at John Hays' property.

Mr Sheahan was busy working at John Hays' property.

"The idea to custom build chickpea concaves came about by the need to have greater control and flexibility over our chickpea sample,” he said.

“By successfully achieving a much better sample of chickpea, we also greatly increased our harvesting capacity, and saw a reduction in losses.

“The headers only used what they came with to harvest the chickpeas and there was always a problem.

“You are back in capacity, you are back in quality, it was cracking them and then you had pods and you had to find a happy medium.”

They say the “proof is in the pudding” and Mr Sheahan’s concaves have been achieving the results he made them for. 

He harvested 340 hectares of chickpeas from his client, John Hays, Somerset, Roma, with no cracking. 

The story Roma harvester creates chickpea money saver first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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