2021 - Volume #45, Issue #5, Page #18[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
New Corn Picker Ready For Market
“We’ve had our prototypes out on farms for the past 6 or 7 years,” says Jonas Stoltzfus, Houston Run Manufacturing. “They have operated with many varieties of corn and in almost all conditions.”
The Stoltzfus family has a history of improving older, pull-type corn pickers. They developed nylon husk brushes (Vol. 43, No. 4) to replace rubber finger wheels found on New Idea pickers and for use on Deere 300 corn pickers. They also developed a business repairing and rebuilding Deere corn pickers (Vol 44, No. 3) such as the 300, the last corn picker Deere made.
They incorporated some of the best innovations from those older pickers into their new design by simplifying and eliminating unnecessary parts. They also included their improvements, like the nylon husk brushes.
Like a Deere 300, the new Houston Run picker features a low profile combine row unit. Its stripper plates eliminate shelling in the field, and the low profile gets under and picks up downed corn. It has a wide first elevator and aggressive trash rolls to eliminate plugging.
A powerful fan blows stalks and loose trash out the back before the ears reach the husking bed. The wide, 8-roll husking bed improves husking, while the 3 sets of the nylon husk brushes keep corn moving across the bed.
A large trash auger below the husking bed tumbles the husk over a perforated floor to separate and save any shelled corn. A lightweight, aluminum belt conveyor gently moves clean ears to the wagon.
“We needed a picker for our farm that did not leave shelled corn in the field and that left more kernels on the ears,” says Stoltzfus. “We wanted one that did a better husking job than the older pickers still available and also one that was not as big and heavy as a 2- row picker.”
The Houston Run picker achieves those goals and then some. It can be pulled by as few as 3 horses when the side chute is added, and a wagon is pulled alongside. When pulling a gravity box behind the picker, a 6-horse hitch is most common.
The picker has met the challenge of picking in difficult conditions, says Stoltzfus. “A few years ago, we had an extremely wet fall, but that year’s prototype (one of 6 developed since 2014) handled it well. We picked some that were almost flat.”
Stoltzfus has even picked silage corn without a problem. He is confident the picker will be able to handle all types of older varieties that are more trashy than modern hybrids.
After 7 years of development, the picker is coming to market. “We are introducing it this fall,” says Stoltzfus. “Prices start at $27,000 for a pto drive unit.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jonas Stoltzfus, Houston Run Manufacturing, 40-B Pequea Valley Rd., Kinzers, Penn. 17535 (ph 717 442-9631).
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