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He Likes His Drago Corn Head
Eight years ago Ron Tschetter of Carpenter, S. Dak., bought a Drago 8-row, 30-in. corn head for his New Holland 9060 combine. He says he couldn’t be happier with it (ph 888 789-2723; www.dragotec.com).
  “This header is built in Germany, and I found out about it when I went to the Agritecnica farm show in Hanover, Germany. It’s the most popular corn head in Germany. The head is equipped with spring-loaded deck plates, which I really like because they automatically self-adjust on each side of the row according to stalk size.
  “Because of the drought this year, our corn yields varied anywhere from zero on the high ground to 200 bu. per acre on low ground. But the spring-loaded deck plates always stayed close to the stalks no matter how big or small they were, which resulted in very little loss of kernels. They do a much better job than the hydraulic deck plates used on other brands because they constantly self-adjust as the stalks pass through them. Another advantage is that the 22 1/2-in. deck plates are the longest in the industry, which results in a slower knife-tip speed for less ear bounce.
  “I have yet to replace any parts on this header. I took it apart this year because I thought that after 8 years some parts would be worn, but I didn’t have to replace anything. I grease the deck plates every spring and again after harvest to keep the deck’s brass bearings and bushings from getting rusty. I understand that by installing a knife on the head it can be used to harvest sunflowers, too.
  “Low maintenance cost is a big benefit to this header. I had been using an 8-row Deere head and had to replace the bottom sprockets and rollers every year because they weren’t built strong enough. Also, I had a lot of trouble with ears of flying out of the head.
  “My Drago head is equipped with the optional stalk chopper system. The knives are positioned so the stalks aren’t chopped until the ear is harvested, which reduces shelling loss. The knives are more centrally located on the row unit to provide better residue spreading and rock protection. The chopper system works great when traveling at normal speeds of 4 to 4 1/2 mph, but in our light yielding corn we drove up to 8 mph and as a result the chopper knives didn’t work quite as well.
  “When I bought my Drago corn head it was available only with steel snouts, but the year after I bought it they switched to plastic snouts which are lighter weight.
  “I paid $42,000 for my Drago head, but the same head now sells for about $72,000. It isn’t cheap but the other brands aren’t, either. To me the quality makes it worth the price.”

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6