Farm Machinery has changed drastically over the past 60 years. It’s hard to believe that my grandma, Janice Dittus, not great-grandma, not great-great-grandma….grandma remembers as a child in the 1940’s picking corn by hand and throwing the corn into the wagon that was pulled by horses, taking the wagon to the corn crib at home when the corn would be shelled in the summer. In the 1950’s our family was fortunate enough to use a picker that would harvest the corn two rows at a time. Her grandpa had a combine in the 1960’s with no cab and she specifically remembers the dust flying back into her face. Before moving to Illinois, she lived and farmed in Platte Center, Nebraska – she was a true Nebraska Cornhusker.
The picker was shortly advanced to a more efficient machine, the combine. So, what about the combine? What exactly is with that large machine we see going through the fields?
- A new Case IH 8230 combine in 2014 costs on average $450,000. A used 2013 Case IH 8230 costs around $240,000.
- It takes approximately 9,000 part numbers to build a combine
- The cab comes equipped with AM/FM radio, heat/air, a buddy seat for a passenger (some even have a cooler under the buddy seat to store food/drinks), an option for heated leather seats
- Bin extensions are added to the top of an older combine to hold more corn/beans/wheat; combines made in the past couple years come with an added bin extension from the factory
- On average, a Case IH 2588 combine can hold ~180 bushels (~225 bushels with a bin extension); a Case IH 8230 combine can hold about 225 bushels
- A combine can typically harvest 1.6 bushels of corn per second. Ryan Lepp, combine specialist with Case IH projects this number going higher as corn yields reach above 300 bu/ac and the combines grow in capacity
- Auto Steer allows the combine to drive itself through the field by communicating with satellite signals to know where it is in the field and where it needs to be
- Precision Planting can be installed in combines to take the data from when the field was planted to see where hybrids were changed and how they performed
- On average, it takes 12 seconds for the combine to cut, feed, thresh, separate, clean and transfer the corn to the grain tank
I am proud to work for a Case IH dealership, Central Illinois Ag, where I am able to work alongside and support the American Farmer. As Ryan Lepp, Case IH combine specialist, says, “Case IH is leading the way in crop harvesting innovations and celebrating good old American ingenuity.”