Stop-Chaff-combine.jpg

STOP CHAFF. Adding inserts to the combine in positions 2 and 3 in small and medium grain harvest will keep chaff out of the sample, while still allowing grain to drop through. Photo by: Marion Calmer

5 Most Common Combine Problems Solved

From ragged cuts to chaff in the sample, No-Till Legend Marion Calmer answers no-tillers’ most common combine questions.

"Regardless of the color of combine that you have, they all have problems,” says Marion Calmer, a fourth-generation farmer from Alpha, Ill., and founder and CEO of Calmer Corn Heads.

Calmer invented the world’s first 12- and 15-inch corn heads and went on to start Calmer Corn Heads. He’s also the founder of Calmer’s Agronomic Research Center, which has run long-term studies since the 1980s on profitability-related agronomy questions, such as fertilizer applications, population rates and various row spacings for corn and soybeans.

“I have fought combines for 55 years, trying to get them to do what I want them to do,” Calmer says. “The big thing to remember is that one size does not fit all. If you think about it, when you’re planting corn and soybeans, when you switch crops, you also switch the plate that’s in the meter, correct? When we harvest, is anybody teaching us to change the size of the openings? The answer is no. That’s why we all struggle.”

Calmer’s solutions to common problems with combines and headers stem from a lifetime of experience and from lessons learned at the research center, where Calmer’s staff runs a test fleet of different makes and models of combines. He says there are very few problems for which they can’t find solutions — but that’s not to say they always like it.


“Regardless of the color of your combine, they all have problems…”


“I do not like the frustration of running a $500,000 combine, and I can’t…

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Julienne Isaacs

Contributing Writer

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