Distribution of Shelled Corn Throughput and Mechanical Damage in a Combine Cylinder

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Mahmoud, Ali
Buchele, Wesley
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Buchele, Wesley
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

SINCE the introduction of field shelling of corn by combines, many farmers have changed from ear-corn harvesting to a high-moisture, field-shelling system. A field survey (USDA 1971) in the Corn Belt indicated the continued shift to combines for harvesting corn. The portion of acreage harvested by corn heads on combines reached 69 per-cent in some midwestern states for the 1971 season. The combine approach has gained such favor because combines are universal types of harvesters, which may be equipped with different head attachments, and, when appropriately adjusted, can be used to harvest all types of grains. Field combining of corn has brought into focus the problem of mechanical damage to corn kernels. Industry and re-searchers (Byg et al. 1966, Cooper 1968, Hall and Johnson 1970) have directed their efforts to improve the shelling performance by establishing optimum operating parameters, yet shelling damage continues at objectionable levels. Several research workers (Brass 1970, Fox 1969, USDA 1967) have developed a new shelling mechanism. The experimental shellers shell corn with less damage than conventional shellers, but inherent limitations and performance problems have been encountered. It thus seems that the full potential of the conventional cylinder-concave mechanism in shelling corn has yet to be realized. Basic research is needed to indicate where damage occurs and what modifications are needed to substantially reduce the level of damage. This must be done without adversely affecting the overall performance of the machine. The literature reviewed showed lack of quantitative evaluation of corn-kernel separation and damage distribution along the concave. Research was conducted with the specific objectives of investigating the distribution of through-put and mechanical damage of shelled corn in the combine-shelling mechanism (Mahmoud 1972)


Journal Paper No. J-7485 of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, Ames, Iowa, Project No. 1798.

This article is from Transactions of the ASAE 18, no. 3 (1975): 448–452.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1975