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Harvesting Equipment
Peach thinner may bear fruit

As consumer demand for premium fruit increases, growers are being challenged to bring consistently high-quality fruit to market. And to boost their bottom line, orchard owners are experimenting with new techniques that can increase fruit quality while reducing labor costs.

Sound decisions ease harvest load

One used combine was all Jim Facemire figured he needed to harvest 2,000 acres, plus some custom work. He still felt that way on Labor Day. But by Oct. 1, everything had changed.

Will keeping combine pay?

I bought a second combine, rather than leasing, to harvest 2,000 acres of beans this fall. It paid off very well. The plan was to sell the used combine after harvest. My son wants to keep it for the next emergency. We didn’t get a corn head with it. What do you think?

Harvest: better late than never

We use sayings like “better late than never” to express the thought that it is better to do something late than to never do it at all. Likewise, when it comes to corn, not harvesting is not an acceptable option in most situations. As I write this column in mid-December, 4% of Iowa’s corn remains unharvested; that’s more than 500,000 acres — half a million! Iowa has experienced one of the slowest harvest rates in history.

Rock ‘n’ roll soybean fields before harvest

If you have rocks, should you roll? Soybean ground rolling is a fairly new soil-finishing practice in Minnesota, but it’s been catching on rapidly all over the state.

Corn cob collector

It’s the first week of November, and Benson farmer and custom harvester Tim Foslien is slogging through one of the toughest harvests in memory.

Crop residue: Take it or leave it?

Growing markets for biomass, biofuels and alternative feeds have created a demand for materials formerly burned or sold for animal bedding or compost. Today these byproducts can be harvested to add value to farm and forest operations.

Tiny Colorado farm excels under glass

In Morgan County, Colo., many farms contain thousands of acres worked by a few people.

Tips to store new spud varieties

University of Idaho researchers have released storage guidelines for 12 new potato varieties to aid growers in selecting varieties adapted to their storage and marketing programs.

Cash for cobs

A new federal program will pay farmers to harvest, store and deliver crop residue and other biomass for renewable power.

Corncobs hold potential for biofuel

Think of the lowly corncob as a natural “pellet” — dense, compact, uniform, and convenient to collect and transport.

Chopping headers take out the trash

Love isn’t the kind of word farmers toss around too freely, but ask Allyn Buhrow and Jesse Schleich what they think of their chopping corn heads, and they’ll tell you the same thing.Buhrow on his Geringhoff head: “I love it. We’ve run it for three seasons, and this will be our fourth.”

New head changes residue placement

If you see a cornfield harvested with the Oxbo corn head, you should be able to recognize it. Stalk stubs show clean cuts. Residue appears fluffed.

Sharing the load

In an age where a new combine can cost more than a nice house, many farmers are exploring options they would never have considered 20 or even 10 years ago. They are seriously considering leasing vs. owning, sharing equipment or having crops custom harvested rather than to continue on their own.

Don’t leave beans, bucks behind

Soybeans don’t make money unless they make it into the grain bin. With the 2010 soybean harvest completed, hindsight and a simple yield loss monitoring tool can help producers hone in on their harvest efficiencies for the next growing season.

Machinery partnership advice

My neighbor and I both own combines that have seen better days. He farms 750 acres, and I farm 900. We both have about an even split between corn and soybeans. We are planning to sell our combines soon and buy one decent combine — not new, but bigger and better than we have now. What type of agreement should we have between us on this combine? If our partnership works out on the combine, we may decide to form a partnership on all of our equipment. Please advise.

Custom proven

Multitudes of wheat growers, especially in West and North Texas, depend upon custom harvesters from Midwest states to dip down into Texas and harvest their wheat each spring.

2020-style technology here now

When John Deere did its mammoth new equipment introduction at Starkey Farms near Brownsburg, it meant Indiana was where the technology of tomorrow was unveiled. It wouldn’t have had to be Deere. Most companies working on advanced technology are beginning to reveal what the future might look like.

Equipment check

Missouri farmers are getting a fast start to the harvest season this year. However, they may want to slow down and check equipment.

New iron for spuds, beans

Potato and dry bean equipment was on display at the recent International Crop Expo in Grand Forks, N.D. Here are some of the new machinery showcased.

Safety training aims at youth

Statistics don’t lie. On average since 1969, 32 Nebraska farmers have died from farm accidents each year. Reversing that trend, especially for young farm machinery operators, is part of a day’s work for University of Nebraska Extension educators Bill Booker and Sharry Nielsen. This spring, they led seven two-day youth tractor and farm safety training courses held around the state.

Know your rules of the road for upcoming harvest

You may have been hauling wagons and other farm implements for years, but is your understanding up to date regarding Minnesota transportation laws for farm vehicles, also known as implements of husbandry?

OBMB is cotton’s future

In September, when Danny Clayton came to the Respess Farm in Pantego, N.C., to speak at the North Carolina Cotton Field Day about pickers that feature onboard module builders, one farmer came up, pointed to some round modules in a field across the way and asked him, “What is that in the field, out there?” No doubt the farmer was joking, but the round modules of a John Deere 7760 and the mini-modules of a Case ME 625 setup are still not often seen in the field.

Make windrows right size for baler

The secret to making good hay is curing it correctly, then forming windrows that allow even feed into the baler. You need good tools that won’t knock off too many valuable leaves, yet make windrows of the right size and shape for good baling.

Grady pairs farm, industry

Sometimes opportunity presents itself, and you have to take a chance at it. That was the situation for Mack Grady, owner of Cureco Inc., a distributor of computerized tobacco curing controls in the United States.

Haybus, Stinger make handling bales easier

Hauling hay may soon be easier, thanks to the efforts of two enterprising farmers. David Anderson of Burr Oak, Kan., and Chris Trumler of Rockville, northwest of Grand Island, have been perfecting two different inventions, known as a Haybus and a Hay Stinger, respectively.

Adjust combine setting for harvest after drought

In a year when corn farmers will undoubtedly be facing lighter test weights and smaller cobs, it is important to fine-tune machinery to get the highest yield out of fields this harvest season.

Get the most from cotton

Mark Mueller doesn’t want to mess around when it comes to getting cotton planted — or harvested — from the flat countryside surrounding Stamford, Texas.

Plan for a safe harvest

Don’t let the harvest rush end up with a rush to the emergency room. Or worse yet, don’t let it be your last rush.

Make cotton, wheat work together

Cotton and wheat are a good combination for young Stamford, Texas, farmer Justin Corzine.

Tool turns heads

Ireland Brothers, Martin, S.D., is making the most of no-till by using stripper heads on its combines.

Stripper head pros and cons

Dwayne Beck, South Dakota State University plant science professor and manager of the Dakota Lakes Research Farm, Pierre, S.D., probably has more research experience with combine stripper headers than almost anyone in the country. Beck recently responded to questions about his experience.

Tobacco’s future still stands tall

The simple, straightforward name says it all — Tobacco Day. This annual event was held at the Johnston County Extension Center near Smithfield, N.C., on Dec. 1, and a hall full of tobacco growers and industry associates had the opportunity to “collect their collective thoughts,” so to speak, on the state of the industry.