Development and testing of modifications on an STS combine to improve grain quality in corn
Laboratory tests were conducted using a stationary test stand to determine the effects of specific ear orientation into a STS feed accelerator. Replications for three different treatments were conducted as follows: roll-in, random, and tip-in ear orientation. The roll-in orientation had the lowest grain damage at 1.3%, while the highest damage was the tip-in orientation at 3.1%. Modifications to an STS combine were designed to obtain the desired roll-in orientation into the feed accelerator. The three modifications were: rolled auger trough, rock trap door, and cradled feeder house chain, which were field tested in the fall of 2001 in 17% kernel moisture content. Desired roll-in ear orientation was accomplished; however, it was lost before entering the feed accelerator. The largest difference in mechanical grain damage was seen in the control versus the cradled feeder house chain. The control, which was a standard STS combine, had damage levels of 2.24% versus the cradled feeder house chain at 1.66%.