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Whole Corn Harvester
In the early 60's, Wayne Best and Vince Meisner from near Raymond, Ill., were always on the lookout for new ideas. As farmers started looking at making the switch from picking ear corn to harvesting shelled corn, some unusual machines were built.
Although some farmers simply pulled a picker and sheller unit together through the field, others - Best and Meisner among them - decided to put the entire cornstalk through a conventional small grain combine. Since there were no cornheads available yet as we know them, farmers experimented with other ways of cutting the stalks and getting them into the machine in an orderly way.
For several years, Best and Meisner used a conventional grain head fitted with tall rotating tubes equipped with retractable fmgers that pushed stalks into the feeder auger. (Their header attachment, shown in the photo, was made by Hesston).
This idea worked fine but there were drawbacks. Putting whole stalks through the machine required more horsepower and having the excessive amount of stalks in the machine complicated and slowed down the cleaning and separation process. Some farmers handle the extra, horsepower demand by mounting a second engine on their combines, which is what Best and Meisner did on their Oliver.

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #3