Flat cereal opinions. - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Flat cereal opinions.

Wheat and bit of barley now flat with 8” wet snow the other day coupled with the 4” before that. This is new to me. Have harvested lots of flat peas HB 74C was the last one but many before that. Very painful and slow. Ran a friends FD70 in lite short peas and worked great. Demod a FD75 a full day in standing canola and worked great but doesn’t give me experience with situation now. That was in another life.
My situation now is a we have a old Macdon swather with a 960 header and a 740 new holland auger header which is a bull dozer unless your creaping along adjusting constantly picking off the ground. What % roughy will a D60 or 65 header pick up over what I have at hand? Thinking i may have to upgrade to get my feed wheat or ditch wheat and barley ... 25 or 30 foot. CX8080.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 11:01 PM
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If you have a skilled swather operator who can run ahead of the combine with lifters that might get you the best results. I will let someone with an FD comment on that but a Deere flex is not great in flat wheat even though it is pretty good in really short beans. I have found sending someone ahead with lifters more effective.



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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 11:09 PM
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I think the swather is the first thing we will get into the field. I hope to swath until we can straight cut again. It should help dry the ground a bit after it's cut. Both operations can be ugly in down wheat. We go at 90 degrees to the direction it's laying down. We have 972 heads but not much different than a 960. I have thrown all the lifters away. Been through so many different kinds I hate them all. A good pick up reel is a must. Good luck! I feel for you...
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 11:25 PM
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A fd75 will get it. Run it in flex, go on an angle with the reels out and down and it will do an excellent job. But, if you have rocks and it hasn’t been rolled, it will be very hard on combine.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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FD75 out of my budget with the looming crop failure Was thinking 60 or 65 rigid would be effective at 25 or 30 width. No? Which is hard to find. 40’ was fine south Calgary where grew up but don’t work NW Red deer where I am now, with that combine anyway.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 12:00 AM
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Unfortunately I have more than enough experience with your situation. Also run a Macdon with 960 table. I do not use lifters. You have to wait till the ground stiffens up that you can slide the table along the ground without the clay if you have such type of soil, else it raises trouble by sticking to it. Tilt table forward by lengthening the third link to bring your guard tips to just above the ground when you lower the table to normal, this leaves the ability to tilt it further by retracting the cylinders if needed to tip it even further to follow changing ground terrain. And if you don't already, increase flotation spring tension that you are only needing about a fifty pound lift at the divider to float the table. I run mine this way all the time. Can be tricky to get the table to lay flat, takes some patience, once you have it, measure the setting and mark it down in your book so you have it for the next time.
Move your pickup reel ahead of normal and lower it so it will engage the crop just prior to the guard tips. Adjust the pitch of the teeth so they bite more aggressively than normal settings. Make sure they clear the knife so you don't shorten teeth while making changes, its something way too many have forgot to pay attention too.
If it is really flat on the ground, if possible going at an angle often works better in some situations.
Now with all this said, this is not on no till ground, I do till/min till, so depending on what kind of conditions your drill leaves behind, that may effect and make your job even worse.
Hope that helps some, best of luck.
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Last edited by albertabuck; 09-24-2018 at 12:05 AM. Reason: added comment
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 12:24 AM
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A pickup reel is a must. Do not try to cut too fast or you will be pushing a lot of dirt. A flex head will also work well on the combine. I would try to swath as much as you can. Then when combining conditions are good you will be able to combine a lot more hours in the day. When the sun goes down you will not be able to cut much if it is tough and on wet ground.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 12:37 AM
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I've seen a stripper header work when nothing else would. This was on the harvest run in Oklahoma 23 years ago in wheat, but it might apply in some of these situations???

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 01:32 AM
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Depends a little on how many rocks you have and how flat your ground is. A flex header on the combine will pick up lodged grain very well, but if you have rocks or uneven ground the combine will be stopped much more often fixing broken guards/sections than you will picking up a windrow. The issue I had was the windrow is not as nice as when you cut a standing crop. You end up with a lot more sort pieces of stem in the windrow and quite a few of those will stay behind on the ground after the pickup goes past.

Had a flat wheat crop a few years ago and tried swathing and was upset with how many wheat heads were left on the ground, so straight cut it all with FD75 headers. After the season was done, I had spent so much down time on header repairs and then a massive bill on reconditioning my combine, that I should have swathed it all and took my loss on the little bit of crop left behind that the pickup could not get.

I ran flexifloat lifters on my swather and they worked very well in picking up most of the crop. Not cheap though. If you have double swath, you might be able to move the swath towards the outside of the field on your last headland pass and then be able to cut your interior passes without driving over the swath when you turn.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 02:23 AM
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I may need to learn some lessons from you as to how you have so far managed to avoid flat crops in west central AB, since we are apparently neighbours. Where at NW of Red Deer are you, I'm more straight west, about as far as you would want to try grain farming. I was looking forward to combining standing crops for the first time since I can't remember when, until it snowed, now back to the usual.

Assuming you have the same sticky clay as we do, regardless of header, UHMW plastic under the entire header is vital to keep the clay from sticking. Not sure that any rigid header would have much advantage over any other rigid header? On the old Claas headers we run, the flotation is in the header lift cylinders, and auto contour works very well to keep the header just floating. A good pickup reel, running fast, set agressively, and far forward( with fore aft for feeding when necessary), will pickup everything that is pasted flat, along with all the rocks and a decent amount of dirt. The Claas auger headers do have a trough to catch the rocks, and it is amazing how well it works, I would imagine a draper header would feed the rocks immediately?

BrianTee amongst other sources claim that a stripper header will get the down crops quite effectively, depending on if you want the straw.

I refuse to swath with the weather we typically get in the fall. stuff laying spread out on the ground has a snowballs chance in a warm place of at least drying enough to go through the combine, anything in a swath doesn't even have nearly that good of odds of drying after a heavy snow or rain event.


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