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Combine Chaff Spreaders and Residue Management | Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Ru... Page 1 of 3

Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives

Combine Chaff Spreaders and Residue Management

A chaff spreader may be the least expensive conservation investment you ever make. Chaff spreaders are not just for no-tillers. Chaff row problems can occur in any tillage system. Chaff management begins with a proper spreader on the combine. Once on the ground, chaff is almost impossible to spread. If simply dropped behind the combine, it can cause a number of problems. · Cold, wet conditions under the chaff row can delay germination. · Seeding equipment may plug and have difficulty penetrating the chaff layer, resulting in uneven placement and poor germination. · Material in chaff rows can release substances toxic to seeds and new seedlings. · Delayed or slow crop germination gives weeds a head start, results in uneven crop development and can make straight combining impossible because of green strips in the field. Quick Facts · A 40-bushel wheat crop can produce 1000 lb of chaff per acre (1123 kg/ha). If you don't spread the chaff, it falls in about a 5-foot wide (1.5 m) blanket behind the combine. Reducing the swath width reduces the concentration of the chaff. · Cutting a crop higher will reduce the amount of straw to spread, but not necessarily the amount of chaff. Standing stubble higher than 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) can cause plugging problems with seeding equipment. · Between 20 and 40 per cent of the material that enters the combine will pass onto the sieve and out the back as chaff. NOTE: Some producers prefer to collect the chaff for use as a livestock feed or to minimize the spread of weed seeds. Determine whether spreading chaff or collecting chaff is more feasible for your operation. Some chaff spreaders can be used to either spread chaff in the field or blow chaff into wagons for collection. Use This Checklist Chaff spreaders are now considered standard equipment on newer combines, but some are manufactured by smaller shops for a variety of combines not originally equipped with chaff spreaders. There are several items to consider when choosing a chaff spreader. Width of Spread Swath width will dictate how far you must spread the chaff. Studies by the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) indicate that a spread width of 40 per cent of the swath is adequate but a 50 per cent spread is recommended. For example, on a 30-foot (9 m) swath, a 15-foot (4.5 m) spread is recommended.

There are two basic methods of spreading chaff: · Mechanical spreaders use spinning disks or paddles. Maximum distribution can reach 20 feet. · Pnuematic or air-driven spreaders use forced air alone or in combination with mechanical means. Generally, air assist spreaders will spread chaff up to 40 feet (12 m) or more, but also use more horsepower and often cost more to purchase. Uniformity of Spread Most spreaders do an adequate job of distributing chaff evenly, but talk to a chaff spreader dealer or manufacturer or someone who owns a chaff spreader for more information.

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Adequate Chaff Spread is Critical to Good Residue Management

fbd01s06.jpg (16052 bytes)

Ease of Spreader Adjustment

Adjustment of spreader fins, deflector plates and speed may be required depending on wind, dampness and amount of material to spread. Adjustments to the spreader should be quick and easy.

Ease of Combine Adjustment and Inspection

Easy access to the combine components is important for adjustment and to sample grain loss. Some chaff spreaders restrict access; some slide out of the way or swing aside to provide access.

Other Considerations

Mechanical chaff spreaders are either belt driven from the combine's mechanical system or hydraulically powered. Horsepower requirements can range from either 0.5 to 35 horsepower, depending on the machine and crop conditions. Tough harvesting conditions will generally require more horsepower. Ease of installation may be important if you plan to remove the spreader periodically. Safety must always be considered when operating high-speed equipment. Costs vary from $900 to $5000 or higher, depending on the size and complexity of the machine. If the machine is a combination straw chopper/chaff spreader, take note of how fine it chops straw as well as how far it spreads chaff. Most spreaders are low maintenance machines with sealed bearings. Belt tension may need to be adjusted periodically. Homemade chaff spreaders are not uncommon. Some producers have fashioned mechanisms that catch chaff as it falls from the sieve and throw it with either spinning disks or air. The principles of spreading and drive power are essentially the same as those used in professionally manufactured machines. If you plan to build one yourself, make sure you consider the items listed above.

Chaff Spreader Directory Summary of performance of spreaders tested by PAMI

Horse- Spread power Width Spread Uniformity Spreader Adjustment Combine Access Ease of Installation Material Spread

Model

Type

Drive

Chaff Storm Hurricane

M

BELT

0.5

20

D

VG

P

VG

C

M

BELT

0.5

28

D

U

U

G

C

Urvold

M

BELT

9.5

30

D

G

G

F

S/C

REM John Deere Redekop

LEGEND:

PN

BELT

9.2

40

A

VG

G

G

C

M

HYD

3.0

20

D

E

G

N/A

C

PN/M

BELT

35.0

40+

D

G

G

G

S/C

Type and Drive: PN - Pneumatic; M - Mechanical; HYD - Hydraulic Rating: A - Acceptable; D - Desirable; E - Excellent; VG - Very Good; G - Good; F - Fair; P - Poor; U - Unsatisfactory; N/A - Not Applicable Material Spread: C - Chaff; S/C Straw and Chaff

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NOTE: The information presented has been extracted from PAMI evaluation reports and does not imply an endorsement by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives.

For copies of the PAMI reports, call toll free 1800567PAMI (7264). Refer to the following reports: Evaluation Report #436 Chaff Storm Chaff Spreading Attachment (1985) Evaluation Report #438 Hurricane Chaff Spreading Attachment (1985) Evaluation Report #655 Urvold Straw/Chaff Spreader (1991) Evaluation Report #656 REM Chaff Spreader (1991) Evaluation Report #657 John Deere Chaff Spreader (1991) Evaluation Report #697 Redekop Chopper (1993) For further information about these and other chaff spreaders currently available, contact your local equipment dealer or the manufacturers below: F/S Chaff Spreader - F/S Manufacturing, West Fargo, ND (701) 281-1729 Horvick Chaff Spreader - Horvick Manufacturing, Fargo, ND (701) 280-2862 Hurricane Chaff Spreaders - Clarke Manufacturing, Rosetown, SK (306) 882-2491 Kirby Straw and Chaff Spreader - Dutch Industries, Pilot Butte, SK 1-800-663-8824 Love Straw Boss - Apollo Distributing Corporation, White City, SK (306) 781-2644 Love Chaff Spreader - as above Goldín Chaff Spreader - as above Redekop Chopper/Blower - Redekop Chaff Systems, Saskatoon, SK (306) 931-6664 REM Chaff Spreader - REM Manufacturing, Swift Current SK (306) 773-0644 Urvold Straw and Chaff Blower - Urvold Industries, Nobleford, AB (403) 824-3737 Vittetoe Chaff Spreader - Vittetoe, Inc., Keota, IA (515) 636-2259 For further information, contact your GO Representative.

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