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Stalk topping machine speeds dry down
Chopping off stalks and foliage above the ear on cornstalks speeds corn dry-down by several weeks, according to Gordon Louks, an Iowa farmer and manufacturer who's tried the idea for the past 3 seasons with a new corn-topping machine.
Louks Mfg. Co. makes both the corn topper and the high-boy tractor that Gordon uses to carry it through full-grown stalks. The 8-row topper consists of 8 hooded row units with two "lawn mower" size blades per row. A single hydraulic motor at the center of the machine powers all 8 sets of blades with a series of belts and drive pulleys. As soon as kernels mature, Louks starts work-
ing his way through the crop at about 7 mph. He cuts off everything above the ear, covering about 15 acres per hour.
According to Louks, "topped" corn comes in off the field 3 to 4% lower in moisture than "untopped" corn. He planted 9527 Northrup King on May 3, "topped" it August 28 and picked it at September 28 at 15.01%. "We're excited about the way it helps corn dry down. It also picks cleaner with all the top foliage cut away," Gordon told FARM SHOW. He says the topper has also been used in sweet corn to prevent dockage.
Louks says the topper works on any high-boy tractor. For more information on both the corn topper and the tractor, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Louks Manufacturing Co., Rt. 2, Gilman, Iowa 50106 (ph 515 476-3962).

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #6