Development of corn stover harvesting and densification systems

Tuetken, Thomas
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In 2000, 245 million tons of corn was produced within the United States. For every pound of corn produced, a pound of corn stover, the leaves, stalks, cobs, and husks, are also produced. New interests have emerged for the many uses of corn stover. Baling the stover has been the traditional method for the collection of stover after the grain has been harvested. However, to collect corn stover on a large scale, improved methods for the harvest and densification have become necessary. Some new methods that have been developed include a full-scale combine harvester coupled with a self-powered stacker that have the ability to harvest the whole plant and simultaneously separate the stover and grain in a one pass operation through the field. The stacker also increased the density of the stover load for a more cost effective means of transportation. Also coupled with a full-scale harvester was a "stover caddy" that would also collect the stover from the rear of the combine and blow it into a wagon pulled along side the harvester. Both methods provided for dirt free collection of the stover in a one-pass field operation. The calculated costs for the new methods of stover were also examined.

Agricultural and biosystems engineering, Agricultural engineering (Agricultural power and machinery), Agricultural power and machinery