Air reel vs. Standard reel ??? - The Combine Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2015, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Air reel vs. Standard reel ???

We are looking at purchasing a 2002 MF 8780XP combine and comes with the 9850 25' bean head. The head does NOT have an air reel. Can anyone out there tell me if it is truly worth the investment to upgrade to an air reel.
We farm 500 acres....250 corn and 250 beans.
Thanks to all who reply with advice.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2015, 01:27 PM
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better off finding one with one already, as the added cost for it already on it would be less then buying a system. figure an average of 3/4 bushel more an acre saved of beans. I have seen mapping of it saving up to 8 bu in extreme cases. It will make it feed nicer in short-mid height beans. Even to the point of leaving the reel off and just letting the air push it off the cutter bar. I do not have one but will likely buy one/look for a head with it already on if this years crop looks to be a short one.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2015, 01:41 PM
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It all depends on the height of your beans and how bad they will shatter. With anything you have to look at return on investment. An air reel is said to save you up to 3bpa. At $8 per bushel you would save $24 per acre. The shorter the beans the more you would save with an air reel. So at the average of $10k cost to add an air reel you would pay it off in a couple years just on the savings from beans at 3bpa. If you grow taller beans, chose the right variety, and plant on 30" rows you should get by without an air reel because the regular flex head should be adequate.

I have the same machine as you and bought an older 974 macdon flex draper with an air reel and couldn't be happier in beans. The feeding of a draper is worth the extra money but I cover a few more cereal acres to help justify it. I also solid seed beans with the air seeder on 7.5" rows.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2015, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Bearcat View Post
It all depends on the height of your beans and how bad they will shatter. With anything you have to look at return on investment. An air reel is said to save you up to 3bpa. At $8 per bushel you would save $24 per acre. The shorter the beans the more you would save with an air reel. So at the average of $10k cost to add an air reel you would pay it off in a couple years just on the savings from beans at 3bpa. If you grow taller beans, chose the right variety, and plant on 30" rows you should get by without an air reel because the regular flex head should be adequate.

I have the same machine as you and bought an older 974 macdon flex draper with an air reel and couldn't be happier in beans. The feeding of a draper is worth the extra money but I cover a few more cereal acres to help justify it. I also solid seed beans with the air seeder on 7.5" rows.
Well said.



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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2015, 02:46 PM
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I have the same machine as you and bought an older 974 macdon flex draper with an air reel and couldn't be happier in beans.
Do you think the Flexdraper needs an air-reel for soybeans? Does row spacing make a difference on feeding? Do you cut the wider row spacings on an angle?

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2015, 02:55 PM
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Do you think the Flexdraper needs an air-reel for soybeans? Does row spacing make a difference on feeding? Do you cut the wider row spacings on an angle?
The narrower the rows generally means the taller the beans will be off the ground. I run 22" and do not cut at an angle unless its a little sticky, angling sometimes helps prevent pushing dirt then. If others have a different experience I am interested as well. I will slightly disagree with saying it saves 3 bu/a, maybe their area is different. I worked at crary for a few years. If you asked the salesman they'd say 3+ average and the engineers would say 3/4 average... I will say air reels sold themselves because they pay for them selfs. the roi timeline is determined between height of crop, prices, and acres harvested.

Forgot to mention if you have a FD then have a air bar not the reel. The bar is better for FD because the nozzles are further out front and you can get a better air flow angle into the header vs the air reel. This is because the platform angle relative to the ground is sharper compared to a regular flex head (which is fairly horizontal).

Last edited by morb1lee; 02-01-2015 at 02:59 PM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 02:58 AM
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This is our 3rd year with an air reel and I am very happy with it. Definitely doesn't take many acres to pay for itself.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 03:33 AM
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loved my air reel this year, had our 2nd worst wheat yields ever (0.9t/ha) and it was excellent with getting the heads onto the draper mat.
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