Twelve Row VS Eight Row Head Dilemma - The Combine Forum
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Twelve Row VS Eight Row Head Dilemma

This summer we traded off our John Deere 9760sts combine on a new 9770sts combine for the 2009 harvest season. We also traded in our eight row 893 corn head in on a new 612C non-stalk master corn head. However, we are not sure that was a wise decision given our limited ability to handle more grain from the harvester. What made us start to think about grain handling capacity was seeing our neighbors 9770sts combine and their twelve row head sitting idle at the end of the field waiting for semis at fields that were only five miles from the elevator. At the same time our eight row combine sat idle only at fields very long distances from our bins. Our normal field average corn yields in our area are 140 to 150 bushels an acre. However, this year we were blessed with yields ranging from 180 to 210 bushels per acre field averages. Just keeping the grain away from our eight row corn head is difficult with these high yields.

My question concerning farmers who have made the switch from eight to twelve rows recently is what percentage increase in harvesting capacity do you believe was achieved? Doing the simple math a twelve row head can take in 50% more grain per unit of time then an eight row traveling at the same forward speed. However, this is where my question comes into play. When going from an eight row to a twelve row with a 9770sts combine how much slower will the larger header force me to go? If I harvest 190 bpa corn now at 4.5 mph with an eight row head, will a twelve row slow me to 3.5 mph? Will it make me slower yet or will my forward speed not be affected?

190 bpa corn to a combine with an eight row head seems like 285 bpa to a twelve row machine assuming the same forward velocity.
130 bpa corn to a combine with an eight row head seems like 195 bpa to a twelve row machine assuming the same forward velocity.

With my current grain handling equipment I will be maxed out at below normal to normal yields if I go to a twelve row head assuming a 50% increase in corn intake. I do not want to waste the extra money on a twelve row head if I can not take the grain away from the combine fast enough.

Does a twelve row head slow down your harvesting velocity compared to an eight row? What percentage or how many miles per hour does it slow you down? If I knew how much it would slow me down I could recalculate how much grain intake I would have per unit of time. What is the realistic increase in crop intake for a twelve row vs. an eight row on a 9770sts? This would give me a better understanding of what grain handling capacity I would need to service this larger corn head. I might be better off sticking with an eight row corn head.

I would appreciate any input you can provide concerning my question.
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Twelve Row VS Eight Row Head Dilemma

Slowing down a little will help do a better job and yet keep the combine at the same capacity..
But yet sitting on the end isn't any fun. Though which one will fill the truck faster when it gets there and send it back to the elevator faster.... And theres the days when the elevator is
over-achieving and the trucks are waiting on the combine..
We prefer the 12row and go a lil slower doin a better job... But yet there are them days when we push both 12's to the max and the trucks can still keep up..
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Twelve Row VS Eight Row Head Dilemma

SOMETHING has to be the limiting factor in ANY harvesting operation. It is up to the operation/individual to decide what that is. It can be the corn head, the combine, the trucks, the grain carts, the drier, the leg, etc.
Sounds like you have a pretty balanced harvesting set up today, going to a 12 row head on a 97 will difinately change that...your combine will be ahead of something...most likely everything. Going to a 12 row head most likely will not increase your combine capacity by 50%, but it could.... (takes more time between fields if you have to take it on/off, can increase field efficiency by less turning, but can reduce it if you can't 'break through' if your grain tank will not hold 12 rows of corn all the way through one pass.
Decision really depends upon if you need to grow your capacity or not, if you do, then 12 row is a good step as the 97 is not getting to full capacity in 160 bu corn without it. Just be prepared to add to all of the operation to take advantage of it...trucks, grain carts, drier, leg, etc.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Twelve Row VS Eight Row Head Dilemma

This past year we traded 2 combines running 6 rows, for on 9760sts with a 1293 corn head. We never thought that our capacity would have been the same or more, but with corn harvest winding down(+/- 400 acres) it is safe to say that we have had a Large increase in production. We run a 650 and 750 bu carts, with 2 600 bu tandems and a 800 bu dump trailer all hauling to bins roughly 5-6 miles away and it is going though a 13 in auger. Corn Yield typically 180's, with exeptions on better ground.

When we were running two combines, we only had one cart and there was always a loaded combine waiting on the cart. Now the combine just keeps on rolling.

In 190-200 bu. corn you could run 4.2-4.5 mile an hour

I calcultated one day we shelled 22,000 bu, moved twice and serviced once, was out there for a total of 12 hours

We pulled into a 100 acre field at 4:07 p.m. quit at 8:29 and had shelled 68 acres of corn. That includes shelling the headlands off of the field. In that period of time we had 13,560 bu of corn in the bin as well....

13560 bu./4.5 hours= 3013.33 bu. an hour
68 acres/4.5 hours=15.11 acre an hour
13560 bu./68 acres=199.41 bu an acre

I hope this answers some of your questions and if you have any more ask away
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Twelve Row VS Eight Row Head Dilemma

I would think it would be better to run the 12 and put fewer hours on the combine. What good is it to "keep running" with the 8 row if you bushel output is less/seperator hour.

Break it down to cost/bu. I'm going to throw some rough numbers out. No idea how close I am, but let's say you get 3000 bu/seperator hour with the 12 row?? and 2250/hr? with the 8. Costs $140/hr?? to trade. That means an 8 row head would cost you about an extra penny and a half in trade costs plus fuel, oil, etc. If you're putting 400,000 bu through it, that'd be an extra $6000/year. What's the annual cost difference between an 8 and 12 row head? Subtract that from that $6000.

Use your own numbers if you have them. I was just guessing on the ones I was using.

Brandon
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Twelve Row VS Eight Row Head Dilemma

12 row cornhead on a 9770 STS unloading into a graincart on the go, can consistantly harvest 4000 bushels per hour. You have to figure out how to haul that much away. 40000 to 50000 bushels in a rather short day, on 1 tank of fuel. Thats alot of trucks.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Twelve Row VS Eight Row Head Dilemma

I would say 40-50000 a day is rather high for a "short"day. for 40000 bu in a 12 hour day in 200 bu corn the machine needs to go 4.6 which is about right but the machine is not harvesting corn all the time. With the machine probabally only harvesting crop around 75-80% of the time comes to more around 30,000-35,000 in and average 12 hour day.

IMO some advantages of a 12 over an 8 are operator fatigue is less with the slower travel speeds. Also the slower harvest speeds allow for the header to do a better job of rolling stalks down and will allow the header to be run a little slower which will result in less header harvest loss.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Twelve Row VS Eight Row Head Dilemma

we figure its always nice to have large harvesting capacity when you need to get grain off the field fast. There are times when extra help/labor/trucks, or other limiting factors are available or days we get a late start or whatever the situation....when time is against us, its nice to have the big combine with the big header and give it heck and bring in a lot of grain in a short period of time
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Old 11-13-2008, 12:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Twelve Row VS Eight Row Head Dilemma

My brother works for a guy who has switched from 8 row to a 12 and they never changed any thing as far as combines or augers and trucks and he seems to think that it works alittle nicer even. They probably slowed down from 5.5 to 6mph to 4.5 -5 mph. We have the long unload on our 9670 with an 8 row I hate it for breaking through I would rather have a 12 so I wouldn't be crowding the other side so much and be able to hit the center of the cart.
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Twelve Row VS Eight Row Head Dilemma

smooth,
4000 bushels per hour (consistantly) = 40000 bushels in 10 hours. I have a customer with 2 of these machines. He is unloading between 90000 and 100000 bushels per day. At several locations of course. I have several customers doing 4000 bushels per hour.
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