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Convert Your Combine To Harvest Ear Corn
Some farmers pressed for shelled corn storage space are toying with the idea of harvesting this year's crop as ear corn so it can be stored cheap, and without drying, in snow-fence cribbing.
"Deere combines make great ear corn pickers," says an Indiana farmer who's converted two 7700 combines into corn pickers by replacing cylinders and concaves with husking beds.
Bob Stevenson, who farms near Brookston, wasn't satisfied with his New Idea Uni-Harvester. "It didn't have the capacity we needed and we were losing too much loose shelled corn. Our converted 7700 picks with an 8-row head and all kernels that fall from the ears are saved by the straw walkers left in place below the husking beds."
Stevenson needed the extra capacity of his made-it-myself picker to handle his 900 acres of popcorn but says the home-built picker would work just as well in field corn.
To convert the 7700, Steven-son first removed the concave, beaters, cylinders, and most other feeding parts and in-stalled an additional feeder chain that carries cobs up to the husking bed installed in the clean grain tank. He bought a new Uni-Harvester husking bed from New Idea.
From the husking bed, cobs pass to a second set of husking rollers installed just behind the grain tank. Once husked, a New Idea Uni elevator carries cobs to a trailing 350 bu. wagon, which Stevenson says the rear-wheeldrive Deere combine can easilypull.
On Stevenson's first converted machine a 1976 model 7700 he ran a jackshaft from the combine's variable speed drive on the right side of the machine to the husking bed's driveshaft on the left side. On his second combine, he's using hydrostatic motors to provide power.
"Because it's got double the husking capacity, it'll easily handle the output of an 8-row header," notes Stevenson. Grain that falls from the husking rollers falls to the straw walkers below and is cleaned and elevated to the trailing wagon with the ear corn.
Stevenson says one of the trickiest parts of the conversion was mounting the second feeder-house in the correct position. In his second conversion he completely removed the clean grain tank to make more room.
"When I started working on it last year I called Deere to get some help with the idea and they told me they'd never heard of anyone doing it before," says Stevenson, who says total cost of a converted 7700, including the combine, is about $60,000. "That's about the same cost as a Uni-Harvester which has much less capacity. Last year we picked as much as 95 acres per day with this machine. It makes people slow down on the high-way to take a closer look."
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bob Stevenson, Rt. 1, Brookston, Ind. 47923 (ph 317 563-3335).

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1986 - Volume #10, Issue #5