Maintain the combine’s straw chopper
By Saskatchewan Agriculture
by Ken Panchuk, PAg, Provincial Specialist, Soils
After a large crop there is bound to be plenty of wear and stress on your straw chopper's components.
Did you feel any unusual vibration when operating the combine last fall? If so, this is a good time to investigate and determine the cause. If the straw chopper is the source of the vibration, get the straw chopper serviced and balanced.
Many things can happen in short order when putting heavy crops through the machine, from uneven wear on chopper flails and knives to a bent, cracked or even broken shaft. Premature bearing failure or a worn shaft can also be the source of the vibration. Checking closely for hairline cracks on the bearing mounts and pans will also provide hints of an emerging problem. Rotation or replacing the flails and knives may be all that is needed to keep the chopper in top condition for harvest.
Remember, the first important step in zero-tillage is chopping and spreading the straw and chaff uniformly using a fine cut chopper that is standard on most combines.