Performance Minute - Residue, Let’s Break it Down!

As grain yields continue to improve, stalk strength continues to increase, and tillage practises change; it has become more important than ever to properly size and distribute residue across the field.

Residue, Let’s Break it Down!

As grain yields continue to improve, stalk strength continues to increase, and tillage practises change; it has become more important than ever to properly size and distribute residue across the field. When residue is uniformly spread across the ground and the stalk is opened, microbes are more readily exposed to all parts of the stalk, accelerating the decomposition process and improving nutrient availability for next years crop.

MacDon offers two solutions on the C Series Corn Headers to manage your residue.

If you want your stalks to remain anchored to the ground during the offseason winds, our non-chopping option with the standard OctiRoll snapping rolls are your best choice.

Our OctiRoll snapping rolls have four knives and four serrated edges per roll giving 8 pinch points per revolution (Figure 1). This results in an alternating cut and crimp roughly every 7.5 cm (3 inches).

Opening the stalk in this manner increases the decomposition process by two times as compared to competitive four knife point systems (Figure 2).

The crimp provided by the serrated knife not only provides an additional entry point for bacteria, but also ensures the stalk stays engaged in the snapping rolls, reducing the amount of MOG (material other than grain) ingested by the combine harvester.

If you would like to maximize decomposition, MacDon offers an optional two-knife swing blade chopping system that gives you the ability to turn on or turn off the chopping action at any time, row by row.

This chopping system will maximize decomposition by chopping the stalk into 5 to 7.5 cm (2-3 inch) individual pieces (Figure 3). The blades are positioned forward and tight relative to the snapping rolls for consistently short stalk pieces.

The chopper then proceeds to evenly distribute the chopped material across the width of the header with minimal windrowing on the trailing side as compared to competitive headers. This is accomplished by spinning the choppers at 2800 rpm, angling the chopper forward to throw the crop into the ground sooner, and strategically designed crop residue deflectors underneath the header for pattern control.