Orient your combine to harvest going into down stalks
When harvesting down corn, harvest on the downwind side of the field. If the corn rows run north and south, and the corn is blown down to the east, start on the east side and work your way to the west. By harvesting against the wind-blown crop, you will reduce end divider plugging and bunching.
Tips & Refinements
For Harvesting Down Corn
Tune up your combine for the toughest of situations
Down Corn Head Angle
Setup on a flat surface and lower the header until the lowest point of the row unit is 2 inches above the ground. Flatten the head angle to achieve approx. 20 degrees to make gravity less of an enemy. Watch the video for full details.
Stalk Roll Open Window
We don't mean to brag, but our BT Chopper® Stalk Rolls are the only roll in the industry with a patented open window feeding chamber to TACKLE CORNSTALKS IN ALL CROP CONDITIONS. Their performance can save you days by speeding up your picking ability in adverse crop conditions.
Install Calmer Chain Paddles
Our oversized gathering chain paddles increase the surface area of the chain lug to increase the grabbing and conveying of material in adverse crop conditions.
Install Auto Header Height
Most modern heads have it, but if you're going into down corn, you'll appreciate this feature.
Synchronize Chain Speed to Ground Speed
We want the gathering chains moving toward the combine at the same speed as the cornstalks are moving toward the combine.
Raise Cross Auger
Increase the clearance between the tray and auger flighting to 2 inches to allow dislodged material floating above the deck covers to be sucked under and transported to the feeder house.
Open Stripper Plates
Reduce the energy required to move dislodged or odd angled stalks through the row unit. Use more of a taper from the bottom of the stripper plates to the top. Watch our video for full details.
Center Plates over Stripping Tunnel
One potential inconvenience of hydraulic plates is the one-sided adjustment. In preparing for down or lodged corn, make sure the center of the stripper plate gap is align directly over the center portion of the stalk rolls.
oppose gathering chain lugs
On green heads, your lugs are normally opposed from the factory. On red heads, consider setting the chain lugs so they are opposed from one another to increase aggressiveness. We do not recommend this in rocky conditions or in standing corn.
Install a Corn Reel
If conditions demand it, install a corn reel to provide more energy for transporting dislodged material from the divider snouts to the cross auger.
Remove End Risers or tall corn extensions
Remove any excess height from risers or wings. This will reduce the angle of incline and improve the flow of material. You can also install Roll-A-Cones to auger material toward the center of the corn head.
Remove Ear Savers
Normally, rubber ear savers keep ears from bouncing forward, but in down corn conditions, you may want remove the ear savers to allow the salks to enter the head without obstruction.
Harvest on downwind side of field
Approach the stalks from the top of the plant as it's lying on the ground to lift the stalks as attempt to capture your downed crop. For example, if the corn rows run north and south, and the corn is blown down to the east, start on the east side and work your way to the west.
Increase Divider Pitch
Change the pitch of your row dividers to stay under the canopy and to prevent them from hopping up over stalks. Be careful not to make them too aggressive or they will engage the soil and fold up underneath the corn head.
Install Row Sense
Row sense is another useful tool to use when harvesting down corn. The Headsight system is spring loaded so you can back up without it breaking off.
Add Weight to the Snoots
If your corn is so flat that the nose cones are riding up and over stalks, try weighting the poly snoots or changing the angle of your corn head's elf's foot.