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Combine Harvests Shelled Corn And Stalks
"We think this combine's so valuable it's the only machine on our farm that we keep inside a heated building," says Dan Walder, Wittenberg, Wis., about the New Idea Uni-System harvester he uses to harvest shelled corn and stalks at the same time.
It consists of a New Idea 844 4-row corn head fitted with flail choppers, a cross auger, and blower. The flails shred the stalks and cut them off at the same time. The header-mounted blower, which came off a New Holland silage chopper, sends chopped stalks back to a trailing wagon while a rear-mounted blower sends cobs, husks, and chaff into the wagon.
"It eliminates the need to make a separate pass with a flail chopper to chop stalks and makes a much better feed because it collects all the cobs, husks, and leaves," says Walder, who built the machine with help from his son Mark.
There are flail knives behind each set of gathering chains on the header. Each flail is positioned inside a 3 1/2-ft. long steel en-closure that holds the stalk straight up in-stead of allowing it to bend over onto the ground out of reach of the flails. Flails are driven by a chain-driven driveshaft. Walder used a series of short pieces of driveshaft rather than one long shaft because of the amount of stress on the shaft.
"We welded three knives off an International flail chopper into the blower in order to cut up the stalks even more. The blower is belt-driven off a right angle transmission that's chain-driven off the cylinder. We moved all the header's bottom drive shafts up to make room for the 10-ft. long cross auger. The cross auger is chain-driven off a shaft on the header.
"The limiting factor now is that the cross auger can't handle too many stalks or it'll plug up. We have to go at a walking speed which is much slower than we would go with a conventional combine. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to fill the wagon. The engine has to work hard. We may repower it with a bigger diesel engine. We blow stalks into our silage bagger and use them for bedding and for feed. Cows eat it right up."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dan and Mark Walder, 1525 S. Cty. Rd. I, Wittenberg, Wis. 54499 (ph 715 454-6458).

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #2