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Update On Sweet Corn Harvester
I recently stopped by to follow up with Mark Schottman on his self-propelled sweet corn harvester featured in FARM SHOW two years ago (Vol. 26, No. 5). It was built by his neighbors, Roger and Bruce Elliott, well-known innovators who have been featured in FARM SHOW numerous times. The one-row, self-propelled machine can harvest 80 to 90 dozen ears in only about six minutes.
  The 2-WD, hydraulic-driven machine measures 25 ft. long, 12 ft. wide and rides on four 26-in. high flotation tires. The operator sits on a platform between the front wheels. After the ears are stripped from the stalk, they fall onto a conveyor equipped with poly paddles and a slippery poly bottom. The conveyor drops the ears into a large wooden hopper on back of the machine. There, an employee removes any stalklage that may still be attached to the ear.
  The machine's chassis, engine and hydrostatic transmission, front and rear axle, and drive train all came off an International Harvester 1440 combine that had been in a fire.
  Schottman says the harvester is paying off. This year he planted 30 acres of sweet corn, staggering the harvesting dates all the way to mid September. When the photo was taken in mid July, he had some corn coming along that was still only at shoe top height. Packaging and marketing the sweet corn is śWhere it's at,"' says Schottman. He sells the corn to local stores and at farmer's markets, as well as at roadside stands. The corn retails at $3 per dozen.
  Word of mouth advertising works the best, he says. And he's benefiting more from it all the time.
  The sweet corn harvester is virtually unchanged from two years ago. It can be operated by a crew of three, but an extra hand really helps out.
  The weather this summer was very favorable with rains coming just when they were needed. Schottman has prepared for dry times, though. He has irrigation equipment and a pond that will hold enough water for one inch over 40 acres.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mark Schottman, 14156 N. 2300 St., Wheeler, Ill. 62479 (ph 217 868-5346).

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2004 - Volume #28, Issue #5