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Harvest Attachments & Conversion Kits 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012
filed under: Equipment

Editor’s Note: Many sunflower producers utilize row-crop combine heads to harvest this crop. And many others opt for a harvest attachment specifically designed for sunflower. Still others employ special conversion kits fitted to their corn head.

These pages contain information on several sunflower attachments and conversion kits available to producers. The information has been provided by the respective companies and edited for use in The Sunflower.

This compilation is not totally inclusive, as not all companies contacted responded to our request for information. Most did, however. Contact details are included for those growers who wish to visit further about a given company’s products.

Fantini North America

Fantini has been one of the foremost header manufacturers since 1968, specializing in corn and sunflower headers. Our universal headers are designed to fit all makes and models, offering a proven enhancement to the performance of today’s high-output combines.

Sunflower headers must be designed to harvest the crop correctly with minimum losses. The Fantini sunflower header is simple, reliable and requires minimum maintenance. Stalks are held by unique rubber blocks on the gathering chains and immediately cut by rotating disc knives to prevent shaking and seed loss. The specially designed collecting pans slope rear-wards and help reduce header losses to virtually zero. (The gathering chains and rubber blocks can last up to 10,000 acres.)

As the header incline is adjustable, the collecting pans can be set to slope rear-wards at almost any cutting height. The points (snouts) also are adjustable, ensuring maximum pickup of downed ’flowers. The auger is designed to ensure the most efficient transfer of harvested material to the combine with minimum damage and loss, facilitating maximum harvest efficiency whatever the harvesting conditions.

Fantini sunflower headers are available in row widths of from 20 to 40 inches and from four to 18 rows.

For More Information: Fantini North America, 40463 261st Ave., Le Center, MN 56057; phone — (507) 357-2341; email —;


The Flexxifinger QD™ Sunflower Pan was introduced to farmers in 2007 by the Saskatchewan agricultural manufacturer Flexxifinger QD™ Industries. It is designed for quick installation and removal. The system also enables quick transition to other types of harvest attachments.

The incline of the pans is aimed at salvaging lodged or low-hanging plant heads.

The Flexxifinger QD™ Sunflower Pans are attached to the header using the patented QD™ attachment system, which is installed separately on the header using provided guard bolts and a special QD™ nut, fastened on the top side of the guard, says Flexxifinger. This allows a pan to be removed or installed in seconds and an entire header in minutes.

For More Information, Flexxifinger QD Industries: phone — (800) 544-8512 (USA) or (800) 925-1510 (Canada); website —

Gates Manufacturing

Gates Manufacturing has marketed its “Quick Tach” sunflower pans for a number of years. The 48”-long durable plastic pans

are available in three-and four-pan assembly units for easy handling.

Overall unit widths are available in any footage. The pans, available in widths of either nine or 12 inches, are designed to mount easily (via just two tighteners) on any auger or draper head.

Gates also offers liftrods that can be easily attached to the pans to aid with the harvesting of lodged plants.

For More Information: Gates Manu¬facturing Inc., 8710 33rd Avenue N.W, Lansford, ND 58750; phone — (701) 784-5434 or 784-5525; website —

Golden Plains Ag Tech

Golden Plains, based in Colby, Kan., has been marketing the “SunStar” sunflower harvesting system for the past 19 years, serving customers in North and South America as well as several countries elsewhere.

SunStar corn head attachments are used on John Deere and Case IH corn heads. Golden Plains has a model for the JD 600 Series corn head, as well as the Case 2200 and Case 2400 Series and New Holland 98C.

SunStar is designed to take advantage of the unique physical characteristics of the sunflower stalk. For that reason, sunflower is the only crop that can be harvested while the SunStar attachments are installed. However, the attachments are installed and removed quite easily, so the grower can quickly switch from ’flowers to corn, or vice versa, if needed.

“With SunStar conversions installed on the producer’s corn head, he can move quickly through his standing ’flowers with a very small loss,” says Golden Plains Ag Tech. “He will be able to lift lodged stalks and move the heads into the combine with minimum loss.” Sunflower heads enter the cross auger “with the heads unbroken and six to 12 inches of stalk still attached to the head,” the company states.

SunStar has no moving parts and requires no physical modification for attachment to the corn head. “There is only one simple adjustment which is usually made only once per season,” says Golden Plains.

For More Information: Golden Plains Ag Tech, P.O. Box 307, Colby, KS 67701; phone — (800) 255-8280; website —

Intersteel Industries

The Intersteel sunflower attachment has been marketed for more than 40 years. Pan width options are nine, 12 and 27 inches, and it is available in all rigid header lengths. The pans mount atop guards, with pan supports that attach beneath the combine header. The reel drum mounts with bearings and drive system from the bat reel supplied by the combine manufacturer.

“Pan width, length and rotating drum help feed plant heads into the combine/header smoothly and evenly,” Intersteel states. “Pan width and length ensure maximum collection of shattered seeds in dry crop conditions. The nine-inch pans offer the most versatility for any row spacing and also work well for solid seeding.” The Intersteel attachment also has been used with corn, the company reports.

Along with the United States and Canada, Intersteel has sold its harvest attachment in Chile and the Sudan.

For More Information: Intersteel Industries, P.O. Box 1451, Morden, MB R6M 1B3, Canada; phone — (204) 822-5055 or (877) 839-9301; website —

Lucke Manufacturing

The original Lucke sunflower harvesting attachment dates back to 1966. Lucke presently offers nine and 12-inch pan width options with its non-reel system. Other options include liftrods for lodged plants and roller tips that are particularly useful in solid-seeded fields.

For More Information: Lucke Manufacturing, 305 33rd Ave. S.W., Minot, ND 58701; phone — (800) 735-5848 or (800) 735-5838; website —

Sheyenne Tooling & Mfg.

Around since 1995, the Sunmaster header originally was produced in the U.S. by Westward Products and later bought by Jim Broten, a North Dakota farmer and the owner of Sheyenne Tooling & Mfg. in Cooperstown, N.D. Improvements through the years have ensured that the header has kept up with grower needs and the size of their combines.

Known primarily for use in sunflower, the header can also be used to harvest dry¬land corn, milo (sorghum) and sesame seed. The header system will fit most combines with available adapter kits. The Sunmaster is available in eight-, 12- and 16-row 30-inch spacing, as well as 12-, 16- and 18-row 20-inch spacing.

The header’s rotating star cutting knives, with the four large, thick sickle knives, are positioned at the rear of the gathering chains. This design ensures that as the stalk/head is cut off, it will fall either directly on to the vibrating pans or the platform and be moved into the combine. As the stalk is grabbed by the single gathering chain, the pans are shaped to position the head over the pan and toward the platform. Any seed loss caused by shattering is minimized as the seeds fall on the vibrating pan and are moved to the platform.

A cam on the gearbox drive shaft moves a rocker arm up and down beneath the pan. This action vibrates the seeds back onto the platform.

The Sunmaster effectively harvests lodged sunflower, corn and milo. The independent row dividers slide along at ground level, picking up downed crop. The flat-top divider moves heads and stalks to the pans and platform, ensuring significant crop savings.

Other seed-saving features of the Sunmaster include:

• Replaceable shoes on the underside of the point of each divider.

• Brackets on each end of the header to prevent heads from getting hung up in a back corner.

• An adjustable ridge plate to help direct the stalk into the header.

• Optional sprockets allowing the operator to match the gathering chains to the ground speed.

For More Information: Sheyenne Tooling & Mfg., P.O. Box 647, Cooperstown, ND 58425; phone — (800) 797-1883 or (701) 797-2700; website —

West Country Products

Jamestown, N.D.-based West Country Products has distributed the “SeedEater” sunflower harvesting attachment since 2006. Midwestern Machine, its manufacturer, has been manufacturing the attachment since 1986. The product underwent an extensive makeover in 1994 to improve upon its fit, function and aesthetics. Along with sunflower, the SeedEater also has been used successfully in milo.

This harvesting attachment has been sold across the U.S. and in 14 foreign nations. Midwestern Machine has partnered with other manufacturers as an OEM supplier in overseas sales and service.

The SeedEater is available with pan widths of either nine or 12 inches. Overall attachment widths range from 18 feet and up. “Key features of the SeedEater include a heavy-duty 16-gauge drum with specially designed fingers to move sunflower heads gently but positively to the auger,” says West Country Products. “Also, heavy¬duty 14¬gauge pans with strong design and extra-long dividers for more-positive row alignment.

“The SeedEater is easily mounted on your own combine header and can be easily removed, if desired, to use your platform on other crops,” West Country adds. “The pans are mounted on a tube frame; therefore the drum can be rolled off the reel arms onto the pans. The chain binders release on the back of the header, and you are ready to back away from the SeedEater.” This process can be done by one person in approximately one-half hour.

For More Information: West Country Products (a Division of General Imple-ment), 1312 21st Ave. N.E., Jamestown, ND 58401; phone — toll-free (866) 974-2182 or (701) 251-2182; website —
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