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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So chopping corn heads have been getting pretty popular in the area the last few years. My question is this...what real benefit or advantage is there with a chopping corn head vs one that isn't? The reason is ask is because when I look at a neighbors field with a chopping head from what I can see they're leaving stalks only 2-3 inches shorter than I am with a non chopping head. Not only that but they still come back at some point with a stalk chopper or stumper before planting just the same as I do. So why spend all the extra money and rob that much more horsepower from the combine if it's not going to save me any time or field work in the end?
 

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The fields are prettier when you are done harvest...

In the experience I have had, I would rather have as much of the plant attached to the roots as possible, whether tillage or no till is the next step.
 

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If he is using a shredder after the chopping head then something is worn out on the head or he is running it way too high. A good chopping head with height control will leave 4-6 inches of stalk. The idea is to eliminate the shredder and/or make tillage easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I get the idea of one. And I'd say all the neighbors I see with them are probably leaving 4-6 inches and in still only leaving about 3 inches more than them. And yeah it does chop things up more appearing to leave less trash but what I'm leaving is just what I call "fluff" and a stalk chopper or stumper doesn't care and leaves the field looking the same whether it was done with a chopping head or not. And leaving 4-6 inches of stalks still isn't like a stalk shredder. It seems the idea of a chopping corn head, to me anyway, is just a marketing gimmick. When they hit the market it seems guys bought them because nobody else had them. And everybody else had bought one because the other neighbors got one.
 

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chopping head is the way to go, some guys here cultivate after them instead of a disc.
Fuel is getting cheaper but still its worth to run a chopping head saves from funning 3-4 passes in the field in our heavy clay soil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Well I get we don't all farm the same way in different areas of the country. We don't do much tillage anymore. Pretty well no till except for a stalk chopper/stumper or stalk shredder. So obviously a chopping corn head isn't saving anyone any field work around here if they're still coming in with what I just mentioned above before they plant. I spent less money on my non chopping corn head and save That much hp in the combine to come back and do the same field work in the fall/spring as the chopping head guys do and my fields look exactly the same as there's do when I pull in to plant. A combine has its purpose and nowhere in there has it ever been meant to be used as tillage equipment or a seed bed finisher. What's next? Are you guys going to start fertilizing with your combine while you harvest?
 

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I bought a Drago Series II head that I ran for the first time this last fall. Before that had a JD 693. I didn't have the chopping attachment for the Drago, but with the low profile head design, you run the head low enough that the chopping attachment really wouldn't do that much. Especially with the new stalk rolls and knives on it. I think that is the big difference with most of the newer heads, they run flatter and lower so the chopping will work. While chopping attachments may size the residue a little smaller, I sure can't see that much of a benefit running a chopping system on the corn head.
 

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Just a thought, and I will preface it by saying that I do not have a chopping corn head, not all applications in a field can be easily seen from the road, so maybe the advantage of a chopping corn head is something that is not cosmetic.
 

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Just a thought, and I will preface it by saying that I do not have a chopping corn head, not all applications in a field can be easily seen from the road, so maybe the advantage of a chopping corn head is something that is not cosmetic.
Yeah, seems at least all the crimping, if not actual chopping, would aid in the break down of the tough BT corn?
 

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Well I get we don't all farm the same way in different areas of the country. We don't do much tillage anymore. Pretty well no till except for a stalk chopper/stumper or stalk shredder. So obviously a chopping corn head isn't saving anyone any field work around here if they're still coming in with what I just mentioned above before they plant. I spent less money on my non chopping corn head and save That much hp in the combine to come back and do the same field work in the fall/spring as the chopping head guys do and my fields look exactly the same as there's do when I pull in to plant. A combine has its purpose and nowhere in there has it ever been meant to be used as tillage equipment or a seed bed finisher. What's next? Are you guys going to start fertilizing with your combine while you harvest?
You asked a question about chopping heads and got some good responses from guys who use them and have reaped the benefits but you appear to have already formed your rigid anti-chopping opinion. Seems that you were fishing for a bit of an argument. I would say the numbers speak for themselves. Thousands of farms run chopping heads and continue to do so year after year. If they did not see the benefits for the extra cost I'm sure they would stop buying the heads.
 

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Demoed a Geringhoff two harvest ago. Wasn't sold on the performance in the field. I will say the set up wasn't correct by the dealer and didn't allow the machine to work at best as I was judging that really more than the head. When we went to work the ground where we did the demo my dad called me to come look at the field. Part of the field with chopping head worked in considerably better. The whole field had a Schulte beater ran across it in the spring prior to tillage.
 

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Demoed a Geringhoff two harvest ago. Wasn't sold on the performance in the field. I will say the set up wasn't correct by the dealer and didn't allow the machine to work at best as I was judging that really more than the head. When we went to work the ground where we did the demo my dad called me to come look at the field. Part of the field with chopping head worked in considerably better. The whole field had a Schulte beater ran across it in the spring prior to tillage.
Exactly. Our chopping head blew a gearbox and we finished up with a rental head from the dealer. Only 80 acres or so. Did the same tillage routine on the whole field and the difference next spring was huge. Much less residue to plant canola into on the chopped part of the field.

If you are zero tilling and trying to save residue then a chopping head is not what you want.
 

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We are 100 percent no till. We do not run a chopping head. However, a few years ago we went to Calmer stalk rollers in our JD head. I can see where our next header might be a chopping head. When you leave the stalk standing in a no till environment it doesn't break down. You have to get the stalk chopped up and in contact with the soil before it will start to decompose. Our residue management has improved drastically since going to the Calmer stalk rollers.
 

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We are 100 percent no till. We do not run a chopping head. However, a few years ago we went to Calmer stalk rollers in our JD head. I can see where our next header might be a chopping head. When you leave the stalk standing in a no till environment it doesn't break down. You have to get the stalk chopped up and in contact with the soil before it will start to decompose. Our residue management has improved drastically since going to the Calmer stalk rollers.
Well I hate to open an old conversation/wound but here goes.

First let me say we currently run a 8 row chopping head (Drago II) and our clients are willing to pay a premium for us to run the head because it allows them to spread manure with a drag line without making an extra pass thru the field to keep the stalk from bunching on the drag line.

we work ground that has stones, about 50% of the fields are rolled after planting to minimize stone issues, the other are simply hand picked and one hopes for the best.

I am considering switching from a "mower style" chopping head to the Geringhoff Rota Disc style. Does anyone have experience with both styles that can provide me some pros/cons?

Based on experience , does anyone have a feel for which takes more power per row the Rota Disc or Mower Style chopping head?

separate question, what is the largest size chopping head that works well on a Lexion 740 with the HD feederhouse?



Thanks
steff
 
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