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Illinois farmers attempt to set new harvesting recordIllinois farmers attempt to set new harvesting record

The final result after 12 hours: 63,770.10 bushels.

November 27, 2018

3 Min Read
Claas of America

While the results are still being confirmed by Guinness, third-party witnesses and tabulations by the grain elevator show Craig Stewart and sons Bob and Brad set new harvesting records this fall on their farm near Farmer City, Illinois.

Countdown to the World Record

At 8:52 a.m. Sept. 26, Bob pushed the Cmotion control lever forward on the Claas Lexion 760TT combine and 16-row header as the 12-hour countdown clock was started. The conditions were not ideal. After receiving more than half an inch of rain the night before, the corn coming into Tate and Lyle Grain Elevator in Parnell, Illinois, was at 17% to 18% moisture levels. Bob Stewart got the vast majority of the stick time in the combine throughout the day, with Jeff Gray, Product Manager – Field Support for CLAAS of America, stepping into the cab twice.

“I jumped in a couple times,” Gray said. “Once to check the settings on Cemos Automatic and see what adjustments it was making and another to give Bob a little break between hours 8 and 12.”

While Bob was driving the combine, his brother Brad managed the logistics of the record attempt. His job was to keep three grain carts and 10 trucks running at top speed to keep up with the nearly constant unloading of the Claas Lexion combine.

“The machine is very impressive,” Gray said. “It’s incredibly reliable and just eats corn! Our biggest worry was having enough trucks so that we didn’t keep the combine waiting.”

One key feature on the new Lexion combine is called telematics. This on-board technology transmits real-time performance information back to computers and mobile devices authorized to receive it. It allowed real-time monitoring of the record for the many people tracking the attempt. 

For each of the three records, the Stewarts were required to bring their combine to a full stop, unload any grain in the tank into a grain cart, and unload the grain cart into a waiting truck. The truck was sent to the elevator where the grain totals were tabulated.

At the 8-hour mark, the combine had harvested an incredible 43,739.68 dry bushels of corn. At 10 hours, the total was 54,302.97 — more than 3,000 bushels greater than the record set 8 years earlier.

At the end of 12 hours, the combine came to a complete stop and the lone remaining truck made its way to the elevator. The final result after 12 hours: 63,770.10 bushels. With that, the Stewarts had set their third record for the day. 

Second record-setting harvest

On Oct. 10, 2010, Gray harvested 51,153 bushels of corn in a 10-hour period in a Claas Lexion 760 Terra Trac combine at Stewart Farms Partnership.

Eight years later, Craig Stewart and sons Bob and Brad continue to harvest their crops with Claas Lexion combines. In fact, they have two Claas Lexion Terra Trac machines.

Recently, the Stewarts approached Claas with a proposition. They wanted to break the old 10-hour corn harvesting record on a field of theirs. After some research, it was discovered that Guinness recognizes harvesting records for 8 hours and 12 hours, not 10. Undeterred, the Stewarts decided to break both the 8- and 12-hour world records, as well as the old 10-hour mark that was established on their farm nearly a decade ago.

Source: Claas of America

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