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Forage Harvester Pickup Mounted On Combine
Larry Johnson, Colo, Iowa, built a quick tach frame to mount a 6-ft. wide Gehl forage harvester pickup head on his New Holland TR-70 self-propelled combine.
"I used it for the first time last year and it worked great. It lets me harvest windrowed oats much earlier than I could by direct-cutting them with the combine and I didn't have to invest in a pickup-type header," says Johnson.
He stripped down an old junked-out New Holland grain head to make the quick tach frame. He cut off both ends and also cut out the floor under the header's auger and re-placed it with one made from heavy gauge steel. The header's original opening was only 18 in. square so he cut out a new opening that's 40 in. sq. The Gehl pickup is chain-driven off the combine just like a corn or soy-bean header. Johnson can change sprockets in order to change speed.
"I used it last year on 80 acres of oats that yielded over 125 bu. per acre and it worked great," says Johnson, who grows oats for seed. "I think the same idea would work with any windrowed crop and also with other combine brands.
"I use a self-propelled windrower to make the windrows and let them dry out for a day or two before I pick them up with the header and run them through the combine. It's amazing how much better the oats go through the combine when the straw has a chance to dry out. If I were to cut standing oats I'd have to wait a few more days for the oats to dry down and take a chance that the oats would lodge and go down. Another advantage is that I can bale the straw almost immediately after harvest instead of having to wait two or three days for the straw to dry out.
"My windrows are about 5 ft. wide so I need the full 6-ft. width of the Gehl pickup. The big limiting factor is the capacity of the combine. I can go only about 3 1/2 mph.
"I paid $100 for the Gehl header and $200 for machine work to make up the drive unit. My total cost was about $300. I got the New Holland grain header free."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Larry Johnson, 18434 U.S. Hwy. 65, Colo, Iowa 50056 (ph 515 377-2758).

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1998 - Volume #22, Issue #2