Maize grain, or corn as it is called in the US, is a huge crop in the mid-west, but the stiffer stubble of today’s hybrid varieties results in increased combine harvester tyre and rubber track damage. Help is at hand in the form of the Yetter-made 5000 Stalk Devastator, which uses a series of flat steel bars welded to ground-driven rollers to push the stalks over and crush and split them.
Requiring no extra power, the roller attachment is suitable for locating ahead of the wheels/tracks, or available for the entire width of the header. The bars of each roller usually cover two or three rows at a time with adjustable downward pressure provided by two 12mm diameter coil compression springs. The average weight per row is around 54kg.
The Illinois-based company says rubber protection is not the only benefit because the crushed residue reduces soil erosion, keeps stalks in place on windy days and speeds up the decomposition process. The flattened stubble also reduces wear and tear on tractor tyres/tracks during following cultivations.
Available with mounting kits to fit most makes of maize header (Challenger, Case IH, Claas, John Deere, Drago, Geringhoff, Gleaner and Massey Ferguson), the company says that the rollers are quick and easy to install. Models are available for chopping and non-chopping headers, and for various row spacings from 50cm to 76cm. The rollers are locked when not required in the field and for transport.