By Farm Progress staff
A big benefit of attending farm shows is seeing the latest products companies are introducing. When it comes to corn harvesting, new corn heads and improvements for chopping and managing residue were front and center this year.
Companies who make harvesting equipment continue to experiment with the most effective ways to get corn into the head without losses, with corn heads that are smooth running and easy to maintain.
The demand for ways to handle residue better was also apparent in new product offerings at farm shows in 2018. Even companies who have offered attachments that smash or chop stalks made improvements and refined how their equipment works. It's obvious more people are interested in leaving residue on the surface and finding ways to help that residue begin to decay and break down after harvest. Companies are responding with various designs to crimp, cut and size residue to help that process move along at a faster pace.
Attachments that fit under corn heads and smash or chop stalks originally got noticed because they protected combine and tractor tires from damage as they ran over stiff stalk stubs in the field. It's still an important function, and it's perhaps why some people who haven't installed these units yet consider them.
It's obvious, though, that the biggest interest seems to be coming from those who want to leave residue on the field but also want it to begin to decay and break down so that it's more manageable in the spring before planting. Residue breakdown is also important so that nutrients can be released for the next season's crops sometime during the growing season.
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