Products mentioned in this article: FD75 FlexDraper® Headers for Combine
“Even though we are cutting 50% more with each pass we are traveling at least one MPH faster than we were before.”
Manitoba Hutterite Colony farms are famous for being highly innovative and successful enterprises.
As such, they are usually first in line when it comes to trying out new farming practices and equipment.
Recently the Aspenheim Colony’s farm, located near MacGregor, Manitoba, was one of the first farms in North America to try out MacDon’s new FD70 FlexDrapers. Available in widths up to 40’, these new headers represent the next generation of flex-head technology from MacDon and feature a unique three section frame that allows each section to independently follow ground contours in a balanced floating action, while at the same time offering a wider flex range than competitive sized flex auger headers.
Because the FD70 is a draper, crop feeding into the combine’s feeder house is much smoother with much less bunching and plugging. This allows the combine’s threshing mechanism to operate much more efficiently, a difference that will allow most operators to increase their ground speed significantly compared to an equivalent sized flex auger head, or move up in header width. Either way, that translates into a significant productivity boost.
“These new FD70s are really an awesome piece of machinery,” said Mike Waldner, an operator with the Aspenheim Colony. “Crop flow is incredible and they float over everything. In beans we are now able to cut at ground level without digging. As a result we are leaving less beans behind.”
The Aspenheim Colony, which farms 5,500 acres of wheat, barley, oats, edible beans, soybeans and canola, used to run three TR98 New Holland combines with 24’ flex heads. They are now operating two CR970 New Holland combines mounted with 36’ FD70s. According to Waldner the difference in overall productivity has been amazing.
“Even though we are cutting 50% more with each pass we are traveling at least one MPH faster than we were before,” said Waldner. “At the end of the season we totalled up our hours and discovered that we were 80 to 100 less hours with these two new machines than we were with the three machines we had before.”
Gary Dunbar of Blight Equipment, the Portage la Prairie New Holland dealer, sold the colony their FD70 and said that he is very pleased with the outcome of the purchase. “They needed a header that would work well in a variety of crops,” said Dunbar, “and that would help them increase their productivity. The FD70 seemed like the right choice and now that I’ve seen their success with it, I feel very confident recommending it to other customers.”