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Combine Head Equipped With Cornstalk Chopper
Minnesota farmers Dan Sturm and Dennis Miest, of St. James, say the stalk chopper attachment they bolted to a combine corn head passed extensive field tests last fall "with flying colors."
"It really works slick. When you're done harvesting a corn field, you've also chopped the stalks in a once-over operation. We'd like to team up with a manufacturer to get it into commercial production," Sturm told FARM SHOW.
Using knives salvaged from an old stalk chopper, he and Miest rigged the stalk-chopping attachment for a 4-row, 30 in. head that was used on two different International combines a 915 and a 1440. A 4-blade knife covers each corn row, taking about a 2-in. wide cut. The knives are mounted on a 4-in dia. tube shaft that's chain driven off the combine head's jackshaft. The stalk chopper turns at about 950 rpm's, which is about double the speed of the jack-shaft that drives it.
In testing the chopper last fall on several hundred acres of corn that averaged 158 bu. per acre, the inventors report that the combine engines had "no trouble whatsoever" powering the add-on attachment. "In noway, as far as we could determine, did it adversely affect operating efficiency of the combine itself," notes Miest. "We ran the chopper through a few lodged spots to see how effectively it would chop down corn. I'd estimate it snagged and chopped at least 90% of the stalks in these problem spots."
The prototype chopping attachment adds about 300 lbs. extra weight to the head and has to be unbolted and removed before the head itself can be removed. "One man working alone can put it on and take it off," says Miest. "We think the basic design can be refined, allowing the head and chopper to remain intact when being put on, or taken off, the combine."
The inventors welcome inquiries from farmers, and from firms interested in manufacturing and marketing the stalk-chopping attachment for affixing to new or used combine row crop heads. "Our prototype fits most Deere and International combines and, with refinements, could be modified to fit other makes," says Sturm.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dan Sturm, Rt. 1, St. James, Minn. 56081 (ph 507 375-4906, or 5574).

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #4