Header Attachments & Conversion Kits
Friday, August 21, 2020
filed under: Equipment
Editor’s Note: Many sunflower producers utilize row-crop combine heads. Numerous others opt for a harvest attachment specifically designed for sunflower. Still others employ special conversion kits for fitting to their corn head.
These pages introduce several attachments and conversion kits available on today’s market. The information has been provided by the respective companies and then edited for use in The Sunflower.
Contact details are included for those growers who wish to further investigate a given company’s products.
Capello has been producing world-class harvest headers for more than 50 years, including the Quasar corn header and the Helianthus sunflower header. The Helianthus is a row-independent design, employing nine-inch heavy-duty crop pans on a Schumacher® cutter bar and a hydraulically driven sunflower reel.
All Capello products are designed for fitting to any combine in the world through the use of adapter plates. These adapter plates and the crop pans are fully adjustable to achieve optimum cutting height and angle in any condition. Lift rods are available for down-crop conditions. The Helianthus is the choice of growers for its simple maintenance, design dedicated to perfect sunflower harvest, and complete two-year warranty.
The Quasar corn header can also be used in sunflower harvest, with the addition of a sunflower kit to each row unit. The active sunflower cutting kit replaces one of the two corn deck plates on each row unit with the simple loosening of the gathering chain and removal of just two bolts. Once installed, the knife sprocket on the sunflower kit is turned by the gathering chain of the row unit, creating a three-sprocket system on each row unit to both gather the sunflower plant and actively cut the plant for a clean and precise action that mitigates head shatter. Complete install time of a Capello sunflower kit for the Quasar corn header is less than 15 minutes per row unit. The dual-use of the Quasar makes sense in many operations and can drastically reduce overall capital investment by putting one time-tested machine to work in two crops.
Fantini / Hamilton Systems
Fantini has been one of the foremost combine header manufacturers since 1968, specializing in corn and sunflower headers. Fantini headers are designed to fit all makes and models of combines, offering a wide variety of options.
The Fantini Sunflower/Sorghum headers are 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 are immediately cut by rotating disc knives to prevent shaking and seed loss. The knives are a self-sharpening, counter-rotating disc cutting system. The specially designed collection pans slope rearwards 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 rearward 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. Our headers come with auto height and row sense and optional stalk stompers.
Fantini sunflower and corn headers are available from four to 18 rows and come in various widths. Our headers come with an unmatched industry leading four-year warranty on row unit transmissions and drivelines.
Fantini company and factory is owned and operated by Hamilton Systems, Inc.
The Flexxifinger QD™ Sunflower Pans were introduced to farmers approximately 13 years ago by the Saskatchewan agricultural manufacturer Flexxifinger QD™ Industries Inc. With a growing demand for sunflower harvesting equipment, Flexxifinger manufactures and sells this product in many different countries.
The design allows for very quick installation and removal. The system enables quick transition from sunflower harvesting to any other crops needed to harvest with a conventional grain header through the use of the patented Flexxifinger QD™ (Quick Detach) system. This system allows removal of a set of pans in minutes.
General Implement Dist.
Jamestown, N.D.-based General Implement Distributors (formerly West Country Products) markets the NARDI “SunStorm,” manufactured in Italy. This is the sixth year on the U.S. market, but it has been successfully used in Europe for well over a decade.
The SunStorm is a rowless head, handling all row spacings with ease. Mounting adapters allow its fitting on most late-model combines. The low-maintenance head decreases shatter loss and promotes a fast, efficient harvest. A slip clutch protects the single gearbox, and a lightweight, reinforced rigid frame provides stability. The reel auger turns very close to the dividers (pans) and works like a shovel. It is set to time perfectly with the sickle movement so as to be gentle with the ’flower heads. Reel distance from the feeder auger is designed to guarantee a smooth, continuous flow of crop.
Shield position can be changed manually or hydraulically for a more-aggressive harvesting, depending on the ’flower type. The dividers are designed for the best penetration among all row spacings, gently driving the ’flowers to the knives. Seeds that may eventually fall from the ’flowers are collected inside the dividers. A metal net covers the auger and to guarantee safety and minimal seed losses.
This revolutionary new-style head comes in two sizes with affordable pricing. There’s a U.S.-based repair/parts source, and the SunStorm comes with a three-year warranty.
General Implement Distributors has distributed the “SeedEater” sunflower harvesting attachment since 2006. MIDMACH (formerly Midwestern Machine), its manufacturer, has been making the attachment since 1986. The product underwent an extensive makeover in 1994 to improve its fit, function and aesthetics.
Along with sunflower, the SeedEater also has been used successfully in milo.
The SeedEater is available with pan widths of nine or 12 inches. Overall attachment widths range from 18 feet to a newer split-unit 40-foot attachment.
“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 General Implement Distributors. “It also has 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,” the company adds. “The pans are mounted on a tube frame; the drum can be rolled off the reel arms onto the pans for off-season storage. 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 about half an hour.
Geringhoff features two harvesting head options for sunflower producers:
- SunLite —?The SunLite head aggressively harvests the crop while gently transferring it to reduce loss. The SunLite cutter bar features the durable Schumacher cutting system, with sickles bolted securely in place for easy maintenance and individual removal. SunLite’s adjustable auger can be easily adapted to maximize crop flow.
- Elite Series With Sunflower Adapter Kit — The Geringhoff Rota Disc or NorthStar corn headers can be transformed into the ultimate sunflower harvesting system by adding our sunflower adapter kits with rear and side extensions. The passive sunflower adapter features a hardened edge cutting disc mounted between the deck plates. These discs separate the head from the stalk as the rollers pull the stalk down.
- Additional Options — 9-Lug Sunflower Chains; Back and Side Extensions; Active Sunflower Adapter.
Golden Plains Ag Tech
Golden Plains, based in Colby, Kan., has been marketing the “SunStar” sunflower harvesting system for more than a quarter century, serving customers in North America and South America along with additional countries.
SunStar corn head attachments are used on John Deere, Case IH and New Holland heads. Golden Plains has a model for the JD 600 Series and 700C corn heads, the Case 2200, 2400 and 3200/3400 Series, and the New Holland 96C, 98C, 98D, 966 and 974 heads.
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 once per season,” Golden Plains says.
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.
The Sunmaster harvest header by Sheyenne Tooling has been produced in the United States — at Cooperstown, N.D. — since 1995. The Sunmaster is the premier header for all conditions of sunflowers: lodged, broken, diseased. Tough harvest conditions — heavy snow, strong winds, hail and heavy rain — can damage sunflower fields to the point where everything looks lost. But the Sheyenne Sunmaster’s unique dividers gently lift and align the plant back into its according row. The rear placement of the knives to the gathering chain cuts the stalk or head, ensuring minimal head loss.
The Sunmaster has gone through extensive cosmetic and engineering changes. The ACT (Active Clutch Technology) was introduced in 2015 to meet the demands of customers who demanded more clutch strength. The update provided 30% more strength and a flawless transition from varying field conditions. For 2016, the Sunmaster was given an aggressive auger to help feed more product into the combine. The aggressive teeth allow for faster harvest speeds through standing ’flowers.
Sheyenne backs all Sunmaster headers with sales support and service. The company offers in-field training with all customers to help ensure their questions are answered on site.
Sheyenne is in development of an all-crop Sunmaster capable of running in sunflower, corn and milo. Keep checking the Sheyenne Facebook page, Instagram and website for progress updates.