Cereal growers can get a harvest boost including increased capacity, reduced fuel consumption and reduced grain loss with New Holland’s Dual Stream header concept, launched in the UK at Cereals 2015.
The Dual Stream system uses a second bank of self-sharpening knives to reduce the quantity of straw brought into the combine. Less straw means easier threshing, reduced fuel use and increased throughput – without necessarily changing the header width.
The system fits directly onto New Holland’s heavy duty Varifeed™ headers. The standard header cuts the upper section of the crop while the second bank of knives operate at normal stubble height, leaving a middle-section of ‘double stubble’ straw. This middle section is spread uniformly across the entire header width rather than entering the combine.
A two section roller behind the knives is used to allow the system to float and to accurately set the working height of the second knife. The entire unit can be hydraulically lifted, up to a maximum of 700mm, from the comfort of the cab to speed-up end of row turns.
On existing headers the system increases overall capacity by up to 15%, while reducing fuel consumption by up to 15%. Growers not looking to increase capacity can benefit by using the new Dual Stream system on a smaller combine. While growers looking to upgrade to larger headers, will gain a further boost from the Dual Stream system.
Nigel Honeyman, New Holland’s Combine Product Specialist, says: “Northern European cereal growers, including those in the UK, will benefit most from this innovation. In the UK we typically see high straw loads passing through combines. Minimising this material improves combine efficiency with increased capacity, reduced fuel consumption and ultimately reduced costs.”
The system allows longer harvesting windows – operators can start earlier in the mornings as only the upper, drier, portion of the crop is threshed. The wetter part of the straw is processed as ‘double stubble’ without entering the machine. Higher harvesting speeds can also be achieved.
Grain losses are reduced too, as less green straw enters the combine, lowering both straw walker and cleaning costs.
Fuel is a significant cost for any combine operation. As the Dual Stream header can reduce fuel consumption by up to 15%, it will contribute to significantly enhanced profitability – lowering the cost per tonne of the harvested grain. As less material enters the combine, the threshing system is more efficient so requires less power to function. The combine itself processes less straw and therefore also has a lower power requirement. The second bank of knives needs a mere 3hp, which barely impacts on fuel consumption.
Transport isn’t an issue either, as the entire header can be loaded and transported simply and easily on a double steered axle trailer.
Those running no-till and min-till operations will appreciate the benefits of the Dual Stream System. After the ‘double stubble’ has been distributed across the entire width of the header..
Even when straw is baled, up to 15% of straw remains in the field and it is both cleaner, and drier.
“Today’s arable businesses are looking to optimise efficiency wherever possible,” comments Mr Honeyman. “The Dual Stream header concept delivers this, via increased capacity regardless of header size, improved fuel efficiency and cleaner grain samples.”