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New Corn Head coming to Iowa

corn headBy Larry Kershner, Farm News

A new corn head is about to hit the U.S. markets, with a dealership out of north central Iowa. Lance Bruch, a grain farmer three miles south of Emmetsburg, invited media on Nov. 7 to watch a demonstration of a Spanish-made corn harvesting head that has some unique features.

Bruch said that he and his brother, Justin Bruch, plan to open a dealership and service shop out of his farm to market Maya corn heads. They come with a three-year unconditional warranty.

Bruch harvested an estimated total 300 acres of corn with an eight-row Maya head on Nov. 8 and 9. Maya heads also come in 12-rows. Both heads will fold, a factor Bruch thinks will appeal to Iowa farmers who would not have to put a 12-row on a trailer for transportation.

Bruch said what he likes about the Maya design is its durable construction and materials, and the snoots sit closer to ground level than typical combine heads. “It gets under the corn ears better,” Bruch said, during the demonstration.

He said he likes how the head chops stover into finer pieces, made possible by a unique placements of the knives. The heads can work fast enough that he was able to drive 5.5 miles per hour through he field, and the head kept up with the pace.

Company owner Luis Urbon, who attended the demonstration, said the speed through the field will vary depending on the moisture content in the stalks. The wetter the stalks, the slower the speed through the field.

Bruch said he’s enthused about that Maya heads can be retrofitted to harvest downed or lodged corn. A series of short rake fingers on a paddle-wheel can pull lodged corn into the head from the sides, while snoots can be adapted with additional fingers to pick up downed corn and bring those ears into the combine.

After the Saturday harvesting, Bruch attached the equipment for downed and lodged corn saying it took less than an hour to retrofit, and expects with practice, that process can be cut to about 30 minutes. The Bruch brothers intend to have their new shop building constructed by spring and hope to have some corn heads available.

The downed corn attachments will also be available, he said, but doesn’t think most farmers will purchase the attachments, “since they probably won’t need them most years.”

But in those years with standability issues, such as fall 2012 throughout north central Iowa, he would make the equipment available to customers. Urbon said his father started the company 35 years ago, which he and his brother now manage. “All we do is corn heads,” he said. “It’s very durable, and we offer a three-year guarantee on everything.”

He said with a few modifications, the Maya head can be ready for harvesting sunflowers. That won’t have much appeal in North Iowa, Bruch said, but could be a consideration in the Dakotas if the Maya design takes hold in the Midwest.

He said he plans to attend farm equipment shows to introduce the brand in the U.S. “By next spring,” Bruch said, “we’re hoping to see the parts shop finished and a dozen heads out here.”

Lance Bruch is a SciMax Solutions client that farms near Emmetsburg, Iowa. If you have any questions please let us know and we can help you get in touch with Lance.