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Containerized Crib For Storing Ear Corn
"We aim to bring ear corn harvesting back," says T. M. Rothwell, agricultural engineer and co-developer of a new "containerized" crib concept that requires no elevator, hand labor or fuel for drying.
Ear corn is harvested in open top 4 by 4 by 4 ft. containers which hold approximately 25 bu. of dry corn (1,900 lbs of wet 26% ear corn). Individual containers, made of wood or steel frames and stiff wire netting, are loaded in clusters of four onto a flatbed trailer or hay wagon ¨equipment most farmers already own ¨ and pulled behind the picker for loading. Corn coming out the picker's discharge elevator is directed to fall so it hits the point where the four corners of the containers meet. As the corn piles up, it spreads out to evenly and simultaneously fill all four containers.
When the four containers are full, the operator pulls the trailer to head-quarters, or to a spot at one end of the field, and unloads them using a regular tractor loader equipped with aspecial attachment. Individual containers are stacked three high to form as long a crib as you want to make. "By picking directly into the containers, corn is handled only once until ready for final use. The stackable containers eliminate the time and expense of having to build cribs, and the need for an elevator, hoist and other specialized equipment," explains Rothwell. "Ear corn stored in the stacked containers dries down naturally, eliminating the expense of buying fuel for drying," he points out. "Ear corn we stored in containers last November at 26% moisture had dried down naturally to 18% by the following March."
"Most farmers in the heart of the Corn Belt would probably view any proposal to harvest corn on the ear as being a step backward. But we're in an area where corn yields substantially less ¨ generally in the 80 to 125 bu. per acre range. Although still experimental, we think our new containerized concept has possibilities, explains Rothwell.
The system was developed by Agricultural and Energy Engineering, at Moorefield, Ont., under Rothwell's direction and funded, in part, by a grant from the Ag Energy Center, at Guelph, Ont.
It's expected that individual containers, as presently designed, will retail for $225 (Canadian dollars) if made of wood frames, and $260 with steel frames. The loader attachment for handling and stacking individual containers will sell for about $450.
"The system has been researched for three years, and tested on a farm for two seasons. We think it offers all the advantages of a conventional crib, and none of the disadvantages," says Rothwell, noting that the concept may have off-season uses, such as handling and stacking fireplace wood.
"Our first research goal was to prove that the containerized concept would allow high moisture ear corn to dry down naturally. Now that we've established that it will, we're now concentrating on an improved design of the containers to make the entire system as economical as possible. We expect to have a cost-competitive system perfected and on the market for the 1985 corn harvesting season," Rothwell told FARM SHOW.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Agricultural and Energy Engineering, Rt. 1, Moorefield, Ont., N0G 2K0 (ph 519 323-4980).


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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #6