Minnesota Crop News > 2001-2008 Archives
27, 2004 (revised Sept 1)
Hicks, University of Minnesota
We talked about harvesting the wind lodged
corn in southwest MN at meetings in Luverne and Adrian
and discussed harvesting in one direction and leaving one
row unit empty to guide the combine. I have learned a lot
about harvesting down corn since then and thought the information
might be useful to those with down corn.
After the meetings, Mr. Herald Barton called to tell me
about the Corn Shield and how it reduces combine losses.
Mr. Barton is a corn grower from Silver Lake, MN. He designed
and has tested the Corn Shield for several years and has
a lot of experience harvesting lodged corn. I have talked
with him and farmers who have used the Corn Shield on their
combines. I believe corn growers with lodged corn should
consider getting this attachment.
The Corn Shield is two pieces of plastic that are mounted
on both outside row snouts of the corn head. It’s
designed to catch the ears that snap loose from the outside
row stalks when those stalks hit the gathering chains.
Ears fall inside the combine head rather than over the
side, which they normally do. I watched videos of harvesting
standing corn and it’s surprising to see how frequently
the ear pops out of the husk when the stalk hits the combine
snout, so the Corn Shield helps to reduce combine losses
on standing corn also. And, there are no moving parts on
the Corn Shield so one can keep them and install them on
their next combine. You can get more information on the
Corn Shield at: www.gvlpoly.com.
Mr. Barton suggests harvesting lodged corn by driving
at an angle across the field. I have attached a schematic
that Mr. Barton drew showing how to travel across the field.
He suggests driving according to the angle the corn is
lodged. After opening the field on all sides, make the
first pass driving into the lodged corn, come back empty,
leave a strip less than the width of the corn head, and
make the 2 nd pass across the field. The third pass harvests
the strip you just left, and continue this pattern. This
allows you to harvest in both directions, which is a time
saver as compared with harvesting only in one direction.
This also uses the width of the corn head as compared with
leaving one row unit empty to use to visibly stay on the
In situations where the corn is twisted rather than all
plants leaning in a common direction, harvest at an angle,
but the angle is not important. Mr. Barton says that a
narrow row corn head such as a 22-inch head works best
at an angle across the field, but a 30-inch head will also
do a good job with angle harvesting. Mr. Barton also suggests
having the corn head in good operating condition and speed
up the gathering chain and rollers if possible (this reduces
These units cost about $250 (price varies slightly with
brand of combine). Contact Jaycox Implement, Worthington,
507-376-3147, if you are interested in the Corn Shield.
There are other combine attachments that one can buy and
install to help harvest lodged corn. I don’t have
an evaluation of any of these. They can be viewed at the
Another source of information on harvesting down corn
is: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/carroll/crops/special_topics.htm and
click on Reducing Harvest Losses.
Field harvesting scheme (Source:Herald Barton).