«Previous    Next»
Corn Topper Makes Hotter Silage
Arthur Vanderpol, of Hospers, Iowa, figures there's little feed value in corn tassels and the upper leaves, and he wants to make his corn silage as nutritious as possible. So, he built a corn topper for his forage harvester which clips the tops of stalks just above the ears. He also raises the chopper head higher than normal and leaves 12 to 14 in. of stalk at the bottom, too. He figures he's getting from 1/2 to 2/3's of the stalk and all the grain in his silage.
Vanderpol's topper was built with 30 in. blades similar to those on rotary lawn mowers. If he built another one he says he would use mower blades. The topper is mounted on a bracket attached to the side of the forage harvester and extends to the side to top rows which will be cut by the chopper on the next round. This gives time for tops and leaves to fall to the ground before the corn is chopped. Three set screws hold the topper and must be loosened to raise the unit up or down to compensate for different ear height.
Mounting the topper to one side does present a possible safety hazard (it normally runs about 5 1/2 ft. high) admits Vanderpol, who says he always shuts off the topper while turning at the end of the field.
A hydraulic motor powers the topper and one spinning blade is used for each row. So, depending on arm length and number of blades used, he can top two or three rows. to match chopper capacity. He originally had the blades mounted one above the other and slightly overlapping. But they still struck each other occasionally until he shortened the blades to eliminate the overlap.
Vanderpol figures such a topper would cost $300 to $400, depending on the cost of the hydraulic motors used. He says it was easy to build and can be installed or removed in a matter of minutes.
For more information, con-tact: FARM SHOW Followup, Arthur Vanderpol, Hospers,
Iowa 51238 (ph 712 752-8152).

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
1982 - Volume #6, Issue #4