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Old 07-16-2010, 05:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default harvesting sunflowers?

I have two small fields of sunflowers, totaling about 100 acres. First year to try sunflowers, but, supposedly, they look Ok. Anyway, I have a 2188 combine with a 1020 flex head, and a 1083 corn head. I have read where you can get "pans" for your regular head, and/or do some modifications to your corn head, thus being able to use either. With the limited amount of acres I have, which would be the best, cost effective, solution? Or, another question, could you use the flex head without adding anything?
thanks,
Jim
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: harvesting sunflowers?

i know some people that grow a few also i have seen them harvest all they do is lock up there flex head inthe wheat position and cut them high. have seen them use there corn head also but most times they use there flex head. good luck
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: harvesting sunflowers?

I think the 1020 would do well enough without pans. You'll likely lose a few heads here and there, but if you're careful losses shouldn't be too bad. A corn head attachment will require you to swap out deck plates (not something I'd want to do for only a hundred acres), and if you don't like them you'll probably be stuck with them. Pans should be cheaper and easier to install, but again, since this is your first year my advice would be to keep it simple. If you like how the flowers turned out and want to plant more next year, then maybe start thinking about pans or a row-crop head.
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: harvesting sunflowers?

Without pans losses will be high. I don't think 200 pounds per acre losses would be out of the question. We tried without pans once and only did a few acres before we realized how much we were losing. We ended up renting a head for the first year. It is tough when it's only 100 acres. Just keep in mind if you do just use the flex head that you probably had more yield there than you put in the bin. I would maybe look used if you find one cheap and they don't turn out good you probably would be able to sell without taking a bit hit.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: harvesting sunflowers?

So, if you were looking used, would you be looking for a row crop head, or some type of used pans for my flex head?
thanks,
Jim
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: harvesting sunflowers?

I would probably look for a head that is already converted to a sunflower head. We use pans on a 30" head and they work great. I have never used an all crop but if you find a good deal on one I would probably buy it. Hoping that if it doesn't work out you could sell the head for what you paid for it. We built our last sunflower head for less than 10k and it is a great head. 30' rigid heads are cheap and I can't remember what the pans cost us. I think 4k.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: harvesting sunflowers?

can you trade harvesting for a neighbor that is set up with a header for the first year. Cut 100 acres of another crop and let them cut yours. If you continue to grow them, pans are the most cost effective unless you go big acres, then maybe you want to look at the sunmaster head.
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