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One Machine Shells Corn,Harvest Stalks
Chances are you've never seen a machine quite like the one Wisconsin farmer Dan Walder and his son Mark, of Wittenburg, designed and are using to harvest corn and chopped stalks in one operation.
They equipped a 702 New Idea Uni-System (minus the regular corn head) with 2 Kemper chopper heads mounted side by side. Then, they took the 26 in. blower off one of the Kemper cutters and mounted it on the back of the combine to blow the chopped stover into a forage wagon pulled behind the combine.
"With this system, we're able to harvest corn and the stover in the same operation," says Dan Walder. "The stover is valuable low-cost feed for our beef cows. In fact, we figure this system made us about $9,000 last winter by giving us extra feed, lower hay costs and the ability to feed cattle to heavier weights more economically."
The two Kemper choppers are powered off the Uni-System's cylinder via a right angle transmission. "We chose the German-made Kemper chopper heads because they're trouble free and have few moving parts. The only problem with them is that they knock the ears off on corn that's hanging low. However, on good standing corn these heads work great. We go along and chop the corn about 9 in. off the ground and harvest two, 36 in. rows at once. For next year, we're thinking about building a four row unit and using a sickle type cutting system," says Walder.
"The whole stalk and ear feeds into the combine but, once in the machine, the corn shells out as good as ever and the stover goes on through and into the wagon. During harvest, we didn't have to make any adjustments on the internal operations of the combine at all and we also kept the same tires on. We have the chopper set to cut at 3 in. but some of the leaves do slide through without getting cut up.
"We enclosed the feed-out with sheet metal to capture all the stover and extended the shaker with plywood. However, with all of this, the combine became air locked so we had to move the trap door on the top of the feed-out back a little bit. The blower runs at about 1,350 rpms and is powered off the pulley that used to run the straw chopper. We bolted a hitch onto the combine for towing the wagons," Walder notes.
He adds that the idea for the invention came after he realized that his beef cattle wasted too much of the potential feed value of the stalks when they were pastured in corn fields. Walder says he has to slow down slightly from a normal combining rate, due primarily to the blower's limited capacity, but that the slowdown is worth it for the extra feed he salvages.
An extra bonus, he says, is that even though some of the corn kernels were cracked or the ends chipped, it dried faster, probably because the chopper knocked some of the wax off the kernels.
Both the Kemper heads and the Uni-System combine were purchased used, giving the Walders a dual-purpose machine for right at $5,000 out-of-pocket cost.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dan Walder, Rt. 1, Wittenburg, Wis. 54499 (ph 715 454-6458).

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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #1