Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Corn Pickers and Cribs

Screenshot from a video
Update: Another video of a corn picker meet. At 2:00 you can hear a John Deere putt-putt in action. It looks like some of the units where shellers instead of pickers. Some of the pull units did not have shields over the long PTO shafts. A video of a Rumely Oil Pull pulling a corn picker. A Facebook posting has a couple of videos of mounted New Idea pickers in the comments. A video of a sheller attached to the rear of a two-row picker. The sheller is so loud that you can't even hear the John Deer putt-putt.
Before combines were used to harvest corn, it was picked and stored in cribs. After the corn air dried, it was shelled.

While visiting Paquette's Historical Farmall Museum, I spotted the type of corn picker that I remember my great uncle would have mounted on his M Farmall tractor during the Fall. (It was used to pull the New Holland baler and hay wagon in the summer. Hay balers, which is what is in the background of this shot, is another topic on the todo list.)

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In the view on the right, I zoomed in on the lower part of the rollers to get the closeup below left.


The two rollers are augers with thick shafts and thin fins. They rotated in opposite directions so that the inside of the rollers were going down. This pulled the stalks down and when the ears hit the rollers, they popped off. The chains with paddles on both sides, along with the auger fins, then moved the ears up until they flipped over the outside roller into the elevator. The closeup of the elevator below is from the second view on the right.
I did brighten the closeup, but it did not help much. On the left is a chain up the middle. And there is a paddle near the bottom fastened to the chain. The chain and paddles are part of the elevator that you can see in the first photo that goes up and over the rear tires. In the photo below you can see the ears are dropped down onto dehusking rolls. Those rolls would tear off the husks and drop them on the field while the ears would work their way to the center and drop into the elevator that takes them up to a wagon that the tractor would be pulling. Note the extended drawbar near the bottom to which the wagon is hitched. We can also see that there are fans next to the dehusker and below the wagon elevator to help blow silks and dirt off the ears.


I digitally zoomed in on the conveyor that moves the ears to the dehusker because the three "antique ears" caught my eye. They clearly show that the husks have not yet been removed. And they show that corn can get moldy.
Screenshot from a 1942 John Deere advertisement video
International Harvester posted
Michael Brush posted
[This is the first time I have seen an old 4-row picker. By this time they had developed 4-row corn heads for combines.]


Corn Cribs


Puddy's House Tractor Rides: Corn Cribs
Picked corn is stored in corn cribs. There were two designs. Both designs allow air to circulate past the ears so that the corn will dry out during the winter. One is a round steel cage.
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The other is a building that has walls made with boards that have a space between each board. And a vent in the roof. I was shocked that I could still find corn cribs. I found these along US-45 south of Kankakee.
This example building shows that the "walls" are actually two walls spaced a few feet apart to form narrow bins. The center of the building is typically used as storage space, for example, for farm machinery. Keeping the bins narrow facilitates getting air to all of the ears.




Also, see Concrete Cribs and More Corn Cribs.

In the Spring, when the corn is dry enough, it is run through a sheller to separate the kernels from the cobs.


While looking for images of corn cribs, I came across the following picture that reminded me of how corn was harvested before field-pulled pickers were developed.
Puddy's House Tractor Rides: Corn Stacks
Update:
Oxbo seed Havester: Screenshot from a video of a 14-row corn picker
[Note how every firth row (male) is gone and the other rows (female) have been detasseled. At 2:00 note how the wagons lift and quickly dump into the 18-wheelers for road haul This would help prevent augers or elevators from tearing the cobs apart and creating loose seed. As we have seen in other modern operations, they harvest at a rather brisk speed. Loading a wagon pulled by a tractor is preferred, but at 5:09 we see that when it is full, it pulls away and the elevator is swung to use the cart being pulled until another tractor pulled cart arrives so that picking can continue.]

Screenshot
Note the machine underneath that grinds up the corn stalks.
It occurred to me that corn pickers are needed for sweet corn as well as seed corn.

Video of sweet corn picker


Kristina Chandler McDaniel posted two pictures of a IH 606 with 234 Picker.

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2

Screenshot from video
[Note the third unit (behind the A-C tractor) is a sheller.]
1911 Annual Report, p 35
[This make you appreciate how much the picker was refined and simplified over the decades. Most farmers were probably still using the binder in 1911.]
Northern Illinois Steam Power Club posted
The famous Port Huron "Husker" 2 row corn picker. This was a popular and highly successful labor saver for the farmer.
[This is the first time I have seen one on a steam-powered tractor.]





This is the first time I have seen a three row corn picker because around this time is when the industry switched to using a corn head on a combine.

Michael Brush posted
Jeff Villwock This I what I used when I first started to pick sweetcorn it's a IHC 234 picker back 45 years ago.
[Note the husks are left on the cob.]



Modern Corn Pickers for Seed and Sweet Corn


For the Love of Tractors posted

For the Love of Tractors 8 row. They are harvesting seed corn.
Doug Jeseritz They use something like that for sweet corn for Green Giant as well
Andy Feyes We use ours for seed corn and it has a 16 row head.
Screenshot
[Note that every fifth row, the male rows, have been destroyed so that their self-pollinated ears won't end up in the harvest. At -4:50 you see front dual-wheels being turned.]
16-row picker doing seed corn  I'm hitting the point of dimenishing returns: a 2016 Mansanto seed corn harvest.

8-row picker doing sweet corn. This video also shows how the trailers raise to dump the ears. Unlike grain trailers, you can't use augers. You use elevators and gravity.

2015 Minnesota Sweet Corn: it pulls a dump wagon that it uses as a buffer while it waits for another wagon to sideload into.


Note the picker itself is powered by an engine, not the wheels.









We have seen that corn pickers are still made to pick seed corn. But evidently machines are too rough on the ears and sweet corn is still picked by hand?

Screenshot
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Picking some ear corn tonight.
Jeff Baker funny to see these machines in really good corn can you say full elavator!Dennis DeBruler I was talking to someone at an Illinois farm show about a binder on display. He said that when he ran it, his daughter rode on it to help shove the corn over. The binder could not handle the height of modern hybirds


A video of a Johnny Popper pulling a New Idea picker.

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