We tagged along with Roberts Farms in Farmington, IL while he was out no-till planting soybeans into cornstalk residue managed by Calmer’s BT Chopper® Stalk Rolls the previous fall. George uses the Calmer Upgrade Kit on a John Deere 1980s 843 corn head.

“For less than $1 per acre, I can chew up cornstalks, pick clean, not overload he combine sieve, and able to pull in with a very generic, non-special planter and do a wonderful job of no-tilling beans into old residue from the previous fall’s corn crop.”

Complete the ROI plan to see how


George has long-time product experience with the BT Choppers and attends tradeshows as an authentic fan of the product to give farmer’s an experienced, honest and outside opinion on how to get the best operation, capacity, and serviceable life out of your corn head.  George has assisted his local FFA chapter in looking through the expense and cashflow management of the high school students.  Whether it’s the long hours of seat time as a farmer, or just a creative mind, George tackles lesser discussed topics about farming economics. In the above video he delves into the accounting principle of differing paths to profitability that includes how the farm implement is depreciated or amortized:

The cost of business assets can be expensed each year over the life of the asset. The expense amounts are then used as a tax deduction, reducing the tax liability of the business. Amortization and depreciation are the two main methods of calculating the value of these assets. There’s a third, less commonly used, method: depletion.  Depreciation is the expensing of a fixed asset over its useful life. Fixed assets are tangible objects acquired by a business.  Unlike intangible assets, tangible assets might have some value when the business no longer has a use for them. For this reason, depreciation is calculated by subtracting the asset’s salvage value or resale value from its original cost. The difference is depreciated evenly over the years of the expected life of the asset.

So when we’re talking about our corn head, we’re taking an average 5/6 year service life of the stalk rolls and row units – approximately 1000 acres per row unit – so 8,000 corn acres picked for an 8 row head.  The mental math here talks through the cost of maintenance & service, over the standard operating timeframe.  So in the presented example, George bought his 1983 corn head at auction for a ridiculously low price with the intention to refurbish it with BT Chopper stalk rolls. So one of the unstated elements in this equation is that George isn’t being billed for his time and expertise in rebuilding the mechanical elements of the corn head.  Unfortunately we do not get paid per hour as farmers!  But, when it comes to keeping cash in your bank account, instead of handing it over to the implement dealer or auction house – a guy willing to turn a wrench can practically make a profit retrofitting old corn heads for industry leading performance with BT Chopper after market stalk rolls.  Fill out the value per acre calculator above, or chat with any of our farmers at the tradeshows to talk through the real life farm economics of installing BT Chopper Stalk rolls.

Dave Hula Cuts Corn with BT CHOPPER® Stalk Rolls

Well in 2019 we put a set of the super choppers on our stock John
Deere head and what we saw was that they we were chopping that green corn stock up into inch and a half two-inch segments.

John Deere Combine Settings for a Successful Soybean Harvest

John Deere Combine Settings for a Successful Soybean Harvest as Marion Calmer recommends settings, troubleshooting thought process and observational analysis in checking the efficiency of each stage within the machine.

Case IH Combine Settings for a Successful Soybean Harvest

Marion Calmer shares his recommendations for properly setting a Case IH combine’s threshing, separating and cleaning areas for a successful soybean harvest.

Combine Tailings Elevator Examination and Troubleshooting

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4Marion Calmer does a comprehensive walkthrough of the combine and provides tips on what to look for when checking the tailings elevator and grain tank in pursuit of a clean sample and efficient harvest.Click any of the links below to...

Back End of Combine | Sieve and Separation Settings

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4In this four-part video series, go in depth with Marion Calmer as he discusses and diagnoses common combine functions during a kill stop examination. Marion chats at length about various combine settings in the field for capturing the...

Combine Threshing & Separating Area Troubleshooting

Combine Threshing and Separating Area Troubleshooting and Examination with Marion Calmer combine hardware and technology expert.

Combine Kill-Stop Examination and refinement settings

Combine Kill-Stop Examination Cab Controls and Settings extended operator discussion and traing for farmers by Marion Calmer

Announcing Stalk Rolls for Case 4000 Series Corn Heads

New Products Released for 2021 For years, farmers have been visiting us at trade shows asking about products for the Case IH 4000 series corn heads. Due to that corn head's design, there were challenges to fitting a Calmer Kit, but after significant research,...

Setting Stripper Plate gap on the corn head

Setting Stripper Plates On Row Unit with Marion Calmer discussing problems and solutions in the Calmer Patented Beveled Stripper Plates

Auger vs. Draper Soybean Headers: The Economics

Does individual bean or pod loss from an auger-fed platform add up enough to support the cost of switching to a draper-style head? Central Illinois farmer, George Roberts, discusses the economics of purchasing an auger-fed bean header vs. a draper bean header on his...