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New Cornhead Gathering System Replaces Chains
Corn picker and cornhead gathering chains havenít changed much since mechanical harvesting was introduced 7 decades ago. Although current designs work well and get the job done when theyíre paired with hydraulic deck plates, their one major drawback is shelling kernels from ears when corn is below 20 percent moisture. Often those kernels are lost on the ground. In these conditions farmers know they can lose from 1 to 5 bu. an acre or more before corn even gets into the machine. Answers have been sought for years, and now an Illinois company just might have the solution.
  In the fall of 2015, 360 Yield Center tested a new type of gathering system they call the 360 Yield Saver. Itís a series of pliable paddles that replace metal gathering chains. The paddles run on sprockets just like a chain, intersecting to create a continuous and flexible platform that moves ears and loose kernels to the cornhead infeed auger. The horizontal flat paddles are easier on ears than metal fingers on a metal chain, and they also save loose kernels. The 360 Yield Saver is positioned on top of the deck plates and snapping rolls and moves ears and loose kernels up the row unit to the infeed auger. The paddles are flexible enough to allow stalks to be pulled down through the deck plates and snapping rolls without letting kernels pass through.
  Illinois farmer and 360 regional agronomy manager Matt Foes tested the Yield Saver in the fall of 2015. He was impressed with the results and says it was easier to create a Ďbedí of ears moving up the head while running the head at a speed that effectively managed residue. Foes says big ears from better ground came in just as expected and the smaller ears were also brought in without slipping through the deck plates as they had before. Foes says the 360 Yield Saver wasnít affected by the size of the stalks or how well the stalks were standing in the field. In some instances there were a few more leaves brought into the machine, but he says kernel loss at the head was reduced by 75 percent compared to gathering chains.
  Foes says using the 360 Yield Saver meant he didnít have to move the deck plates in and out to chase ears that could easily fall from the head. He added that the product automates a process that most farmers arenít always able to do well, especially in a year like 2015 when corn was exceptionally dry in the field. Heís excited to see how the 360 Yield Saver will perform on more acres in 2016.
  360 Yield Center President Gregg Sauder says they were pleased with the 360 Yield Saver results in 2015 and plan to modify and improve the design before more testing is done in 2016. Sauder says their goal is to capture all the kernels a plant produces and improve residue management at the head. No timetable has been set for general release of the product.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, 360 Yield Center, 300 West Queenwood Road, Morton, Ill. 61550 (ph 309 263-4360; www.360yieldcenter.com).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #1