Combine Settings for Corn and Soybeans, Autotrac Issues, and Diseased Cobs in Central IL

2015 Soybean Harvest in Central IL. Photo credit Chad Colby @TheChadColby

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

If you have a 70 Series that makes a hard turn when you engage autotrac, check the autotrac diagnostics page in the GS3 command center.  Confirm the direction of travel is correct.  You may need to drive 50 yards to get it to switch.  If it is wrong in both directions, the issue is likely the directional control valve switch on the hydro pump.  Also, the back up alarm will be on all of the time.

Corn settings that have been working well:






Bean settings that have been working well:






Beans are showing 10-12% moisture, but have a lot of butter beans and a ton of green stems.

I have had a couple of cases with cobs that are diseased.  They are much like cardboard that has been wet and dried several times.  It was like a dry sponge and would break up very easily.  The customer was complaining of a lot of corn on the ground.  I asked him if it was still on the cob and he said no.  I got there and raised the chopper (IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU RAISE THE CHOPPER SO YOU CAN SEE FOR SURE WHAT THE COMBINE IS DOING) and found out it was in fact still on the cob, but it was broken up so bad it was going through.  We tried to slow down the rotor and open it up to not break up the cobs but the losses just got worse on the ground. He was also taking in a tremendous amount of trash because the stalk was dead and was breaking off almost as soon as it hit the stalk rolls.  It didn’t seem to matter what we did with the head speed or deck plates,  we still could not do much to reduce trash intake.  We finally had to go to 500 rotor speed and 12 on the concave to help the situation.  We went as far down as 6 on the concave,  but it was not as good as 12.  We verified that his concave was zeroed correctly, but we were still losing about 1 bu/acre or so, but it was the best we could do under the conditions.  I have seen this a couple of times, but it is variety specific.  His combine had been doing a good job in other fields and varieties.  This variety was still yielding very well and was running about 16-18% moisture.

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at

Combine Settings for Varying Cob Sizes

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

Harvest is in the beginning stages in Central Illinois.  Corn moisture has been all over the board, as have yield averages.  In the lower lying areas where water stood for longer periods of time, much of the crop died and moisture is as low as 15%.  In other areas where yield is quite good the moisture is higher.  Some corn is still well over 25%.

In some fields the yield variation is quite extreme.  In situations like this it can be difficult to set the combine to an optimum setting because you will have drastically varying cob size.  One thing to try, is to close your concave as tight as you can, but not split the larger cobs.  The other thing to try, is to speed up the combine ground speed in the lower yielding areas to make sure you keep it full to take advantage of grain on grain threshing.  Don’t forget to check out our app or for all of our help videos this fall.  You can download the app here.  Have a safe and successful harvest.
Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at

Combine Settings for Wet Corn and Start of Harvest Reminders

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

Corn is drying down across central Illinois. Some soybean varieties are also rapidly turning. Most of the corn is still above 25% but have seen some fields below that as well. Chopping heads continue to impress with sizing and distributing residue.
Starting corn settings so far have been around 390 and 30 for rotor and concave settings. Chaffer and sieve have been 22 and 12. The fan setting is different for each model but 1250-1300 seems to be working well for the wetter corn we have right now.
One thing that everyone seems to forget to do is to check your grain tank drain covers on both sides before you start. Also, make sure that the rock trap is closed.


Make sure that you calibrate your headers. You will need to do the feeder house speed calibration before you do the header calibration for both the corn head and the platform on both 70 and s-series combines.
Finally and most importantly, BE SAFE. Getting in a hurry never ends well. Check your surroundings before turning on the combine or engaging the header.
Have a great harvest.

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at


Combine Calibrations to Maximize Corn Yields

by Josh Zuck, Lanark, IL 

Do you want to get the best performance out of your STS or S-Series combine in corn this year and reduce shelling before it reaches the rotor?  The first thing to check is that your feeder house drum is up and the feeder house chain is on the slow speed. This will reduce shelling in the feeder house. Next is to make sure that the feed accelerator is on the slow side. One thing that helps a lot is changing out the feed accelerator paddles to a smooth paddle. Combines come from the factory with serrated paddles. Changing them out can take some time, but it is well worth it in the long run. If you still have issues at the feed accelerator, take the smooth paddles to a machine shop and put a 30 degree bend in them, bend them back, that makes them less aggressive. You just want to “shovel” the corn into the rotor.

Next, make sure the concaves are level. Leveling the concaves reduces loading to one side. To do this, you want to read your operators manual and make sure to follow it step by step.  When setting the concave clearance, take a ear and shell the corn off the cob, then take the cob and push it through the box end on a metric wrench.  If the cob doesn’t slide through a 19mm wrench, but does slide through a 20mm wrench, set the concave to 20-22mm. This will get the cob clean of corn and reduce cob damage and then keep the cob out of the grain tank. Next you want to make sure you have a spacer in the rear grates. This allows the corn, cobs, and stalks to be thrown around more to get all the loose corn out of the rotor.

Next are the chaffer and sieve. In your combine armrest display you want to go to the calibrations page and do a calibration of the chaffer and sieve. This will make sure that if you set the chaffer at 20mm it is 20mm and not 25mm. These are just a few tips and tricks for this season. If you have any questions please call the Sloan Support Call Center at 217-693-6209 and talk to one of the Sloan product support specialists.