Nick Wenning was running twin-row corn yielding upwards of 225 bushels per acre on his farm near Greensburg. He was faced with a dilemma. The corn fodder was so thick – some of it with green left due to good stalk health – that it was a load on the machine at times.
One solution would be to open the stripper plates wider so some fodder would stay behind and not go through the machine. That would have meant less fodder for the rotary combine to handle in the threshing operation. However, his overall goal was to put as much grain as possible in the combine tank and over the scales, so he had to balance that against how the head was performing.
"For some reason we've seen quite a bit of butt shelling if the stripper plates are open very far this year," he says. It seems to be the same even on higher ground where population is lower and ears are somewhat bigger.
The remedy is to run the stripper plates as narrow as possible, he says. By doing so, he has drastically cut down on any shelling at the head, and kept more kernels going into the combine instead of staying behind on the ground.
The neat thing is that he can make the adjustment from the cab. Then a small monitor indicator shows him his current setting on stripper plate adjustment. It's a far cry from combines of only two decades ago where you often had to stop, get out and adjust stripper plates by hand, row by row. All he has to do is make the adjustment in the cab, and then watch what affect that has on the crop coming into the head. He's willing to drive a little slower and run a little more fodder through the machine rather than sacrifice kernels because ears get caught in between the stripper plates and shell off some kernels.