Harvest is in full swing in my territory, but progress varies. Farmers in southern Illinois are halfway to two-thirds of the way done with corn, but soybeans are not quite as far along. Central Illinois and Missouri are one-third done. Northern Illinois producers got their crops planted a little later, so they’re just starting harvest.
The weather has been relatively warm and dry. We’re expecting a full week of sunny, dry weather, so I expect that many growers will get a big chunk of their harvesting done.
Case IH Axial-Flow® combines have been performing very well. There’s different crop dynamics this year than last year: last year’s crop was very light due to the drought, so it was easier to harvest. This year, crops have done better, so they’re more dense. With this in mind, combines need to have plenty of power, and Case IH combines have proven themselves in the field.
Because the crops are so much heavier this year, and we’ve had some strong rain and wind this fall, farmers are concerned about corn standability. If the rain and wind continues, the crop could fall down. The wetter growing season has resulted in lower-integrity corn cobs — they’re very soft. Even in these tough conditions, Case IH Axial-Flow combines have been able to achieve excellent-quality grain going into the tank with their gentle, multiple-pass design. The concaves are in a more relaxed position, so the combine gently rubs the crop against itself to get the corn off of the soft cob.
Many producers in my territory have been interested to see how the new 4400 series corn heads and 3100 series draper heads have performed in demonstrations. Growers have been very impressed with the cleanliness of grain harvesting, less MOG (material other than grain) getting into the grain tank, and the increased speed due to the longer stalk rolls.
This harvesting season, farmers in my territory have really experienced firsthand the simple, clean design of the Case IH Tier 4 engines equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology. They’ve also discovered that the powerful, efficient design saves them fuel while tackling tough harvest conditions. My customers are really seeing that Case IH made the right choice in using SCR to address Tier 4 standards, and it’s resulting in giving them more power and performance with less fuel consumption.
In my experience, producers are now seeing how the Agronomic DesignSM principles of the Case IH Axial-Flow combine fit together with planters, sprayers and tillage tools to make them more profitable. I like to say that the Axial-Flow combine is the poster child for Agronomic Design. When it was originally released back in 1977, we didn’t have the term “agronomic design,” but when growers described their ideal combine, it fits all of the agronomic principles.