Sunday, November 22, 2015

Combining the corn (video)

This is the first year we've had a combine, and it's a complex machine.   So after going through it and reading the manual and setting all of the various controls to the reccomended values, I'd take it out to the field and process a little bit of corn and then look at how it did.  This video is one of those "tuning" runs.

combining corn fall 2015 from bruce king on Vimeo.
I am so impressed with the concept of combines in general, and with this one in particular. Driving at 2 to 4mph, it picks the ears, removes the husk, schucks the kernels from the cob and deposits the grain corn into a tank. At 4 rows wide (which is narrow when it comes to combines; this particular unit can accomodate a 6 and 8 row wide corn head if I wanted) and 4mph, it's covering 6 feet of ground a second. With a corn plant spacing of 9" between the plants that's around 8 plants per row per second, or 32 corn plants per second, with 2 ears on each plant.
This video was taken when the combine was on the red line, facing the small end of the top field
So you're driving along and this machine is sucking up 64 ears of corn a second and processing it and all you have to do is make sure you keep the head centered on the rows. This particular machine is a john deere, model 7720 turbo. It's a 1979 model, originally used to harvest things like spinach and chard seed, and sometimes barley and wheat. The changeover to go from wheat to corn basically involved setting two main parameters: the feeder house bottom clearance and the concave spacing, and then fiddling with those settings until I got the results I wanted. There's a big fan that you can change the speed on, and there's a couple of other things that could be changed, but I didn't have to do any of that.

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