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16-Row Corn Head
'I don't think any one's ever built a corn lead with more rows. Really speeds up harvest," says John Ricke, Williams, Iowa, who merged two Deere 8-row corn heads to build a 16-row, 20-in. corn head that he mounted on his Deere 8820 combine.
Ricke merged a model 842 20-in. head that he already owned, and a model 843 30-in. head that he bought used. Most of the conversion work was done by Brad Bish, Giltner, Neb.
"It looks like it was factory-built and works just the way it was supposed to," says Ricke, who notes that there are wider heads but only one other one (built by a Texas farmer) has as many rows. Ricke has been planting and harvesting on 20-in. rows for the past 25 years. "It really lets me harvest fast. I mounted a 200 bu. extension on top of the combine's 250-bu. factory tank.
"The problem is that no one makes 20-in. corn heads any more and they never did make them bigger than 8 rows. Deere, Allis-Chalmers, and Massey-Ferguson all offered 20-in. corn heads in the 1970's but stopped making them. I paid $6,000 for the used head and spent $4,700 more for the conver- sion. I also bought another used 8-row 20-in. head in case my 16-row header ever breaks down."
Bish stripped both headers down to the frame and rebuilt them. He hard surfaced the rolls and stripper plates, installed new gathering chains, and built new drive shafts for the row units. The drives and rollers are all the same. He built an extra snout and installed an oil bath for the auger drive chains on both ends of the header. He then welded the two headers together and rein-forced the main frame with tapered channel iron on top and angle braces at the rear. The 16-row header uses the 843 header's quicktach adapter.
Ricke set the 30.5 by 32 tires in closer to the combine so that it can straddle six rows. He built his own 16-row 20-in. corn planter from scratch by modifying a 12-row, 30-in. International 500 folding planter and mounting model 900 row units on it. He also built a 16-row rigid bar planter.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Ricke, 1715 Tolman Ave., Williams, Iowa 50271 (ph 515 854-2668).

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #3