by Bill Kletecka, Cuba City, WI
Harvest in southwest Wisconsin is off to a fevered pace with dry fall weather, and dry crops. Customers have been actively combining beans with yields ranging around mid to upper 60’s. Bean moisture’s have been very good with very little of them overly dry. The stems of the beans have been another story, with very little of them being fit for cutting.
Green stemmed beans truly test the cutter bar on the head, and the customers that maintain and adjust their heads are able to cut cleaner fields. We recommend replacing both guards and sickles yearly to ensure a clean cut. We have found that the edge on the guards is equally if not more important that the knife sections for clean cuts. On 600F series head it is very critical to keep the hold downs tight to the sickle. The rule of thumb for them is the thickness of a business card between the hold down and top of the sickle. For the 600FD heads we found that is also critical to adjust the feeder house fore and aft on the combines. This is due in part to the increased distance from the sickle to the rear of the head.
Here are some fast instructions for an S series combines. Remember, if you are working under the feeder house to put the safety stop on the cylinder. This diagram shows the fasteners to loosen.
Do not loosen “C”. Once they are loosened you can lengthen your turnbuckles on the top of the feeder house keeping them in equal length. We found that three full turns on the turnbuckle are more than enough to get a better cut. After the turnbuckles are set tighten up the hardware, and you should be able reattach the head and check the angle. All combine operators manuals show how to do this in more depth if more info is needed.