Cutting Beans that are Down, Tangled, or Leaning

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

Great weather in the month of September has hastened crop harvesting in Central Illinois.  The corn crop has been well above average in most cases but is falling well short of the 2014 record.  Soybeans also are well above average but it is still too early to tell if we will eclipse the yield of last year as a whole. 

Cutting Down Beans with a Row Crop Head

If you are dealing with down, leaning, or tangled beans try to set your angle of cut as close to perpendicular to the lean of the crop as reasonably possible.  This will lead to the least amount of plugging and will also reduce the amount of beans that you run over.  With larger headers, make sure that your feed accelerator is on the high side to reduce the chance of plugging in this area.  We have also seen some benefit of running the feeder house chain on the larger sprocket if persistent slugging occurs due to large crop mass.  As always, make sure that the auger is adjusted closely to the floor and rear strippers to augment feeding.  Draper belt speeds seem to work the best around 200-220 in most cases.  Always calibrate your header before you start the season to insure it is ready for any ground condition.  Check out the help videos on under the AMS heading for help with the calibrations. 

You can view our Hydraflex Platform video here:

You can view our Flex Draper video here:

Also, don’t forget the call center to help with switching crops at 217 693 6209


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


Proper Platform Angle and Header Calibration Tips

S680 with near peak fall colors near Muscoda, WI

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

Corn and soybean harvest resumed late last week as a window of weather has entered Central Illinois.  The corn has dried way down since before all of the rain and the beans are much more ready to cut as well.

John Deere just announced the release of shared coverage maps for swath control.  This will allow two planters in the same field to use the headlands created by the other planter.  This has been a highly sought after enhancement and will be available in Feb 2015.  More details to follow.

When cutting beans, the steeper the angle of cut (other than perpendicular) will result in less beans “run over” by the snout on the end of the header.  It also will improve feeding into the header.

On draper heads, make sure that you never take crop down only on one side other than for a very short distance.  Doing so will cause the crop to be pushed across the center belt and pulled under the opposite side belt and can result in plugging of the side belt.

Make sure that you re-calibrate your headers as header control performance will need to be at its optimum in the current soft conditions.  Also insure that the pitch on your feederhouse is correct for the header on the combine.  One quick way to check this is to press the 2 or 3 button on the hydro handle with the header switch turned on and allow the header to lower to the ground.  Shut off the machine and go out to the ends of the header and check the outer yellow skid shoe for level.  If it is pitched too far forward it can cause the cutterbar to push material in front of the header.  If it is too far back then it will cause the material to build up under the header and and drag material.