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harvesting corn AbleStoock.com/Getty Images

The corn head search is on!

We switched to 20-inch row equipment to get corn planted. Now we need a 20-in. row combine head.

Though we brought this on ourselves, 2019 continues to be a bit of a pest.

If you recall, in June I told you we made the decision that in order to get corn in the ground we used the 20-in. row soybean planter. (Mind you, we are all 30-in. row corn equipment.) We got the corn up, dealt with fertilization and spraying.

It now it appears we will have a crop. So it’s time to figure out how to harvest it.

We were hoping (and still are) to find a corn head to rent for these 300 acres. We asked a local dealer who has an older used head in stock at one of the stores. Their price to rent the head alone was 90% of the published custom harvest rate for the combine, head, and operator. Talk about pouring salt in the wound! That’s obviously not going to work.

We have continued our search online. We have found some units available to purchase, but haven’t been able to go look at any yet. Most are too far away for rental situations. We certainly don’t need any projects, the head must be field ready and able to harvest these acres.

We also watched a couple of them sell on auction sites yesterday, but didn’t buy anything because of location and freight costs back home.

The 20-inch row field trial

We are considering these 20-in. row corn fields a large scale trial. With 20-in. rows, we’re farming more of each acre, I like that. I also like the faster shading and there seems to be better weed control. However, I’d like to see some yield results before we commit to making the switch and purchasing equipment.

Even if we have favorable results this year, I think we would do some testing again before any decision is made to change row widths. Add in the fact that the 20-in. row planter isn’t set up with 2x2x2 like the 30-in. row planter, and it’s just not a good comparison.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 
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