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John Deere row crop heads


 
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boberjagel
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 6:35 pm    Post subject: John Deere row crop heads Reply to specific post Reply with quote

In my neighborhood during the late seventies and eighties everyone ran row crop heads for soybeans even the other color combines. It almost seemed like a fad to me even though they did a fine job.I have often
heard John Deere bought the rights to that head from someone else then perfected it. I heard this often even from John Deere employees. Can anyone elaborate on this or even if its true?
 
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coonie minnie
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2022 3:46 am    Post subject: Re: John Deere row crop heads Reply to specific post Reply with quote

It's quite possible. Many of the best inventions are farmer built. I think those heads shared many components with the forage harvester corn heads of the time- like chains, cutters, etc.
 
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casecollectorsc
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2022 4:29 am    Post subject: Re: John Deere row crop heads Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I remember seeing a Long brand 4 row corn head with green paint flaking off and Long blue underneath. Only difference between it and a 444 JD head was the pipe thru the auger was only a couple inches in diameter. I have run the JD heads on JI Case combines and CIH combines.



 
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fdt860
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2022 2:19 pm    Post subject: Re: John Deere row crop heads Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I think Deere bought right to Hesston, like they bought rights for the Hesston round balers, or the Massey Agco 2 parts transition plate for the STS combine, that was like a TX Massey.

 
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spacechem
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 4:46 pm    Post subject: Re: John Deere row crop heads Reply to specific post Reply with quote

The 'official' story is that Deere engineers from Harvester Works and Ottumwa (hay & forage equipment) were working at the same test farm in different fields. Harvester cutting beans and Ottumwa chopping corn. Chopper head used chains with rubber belting to gather crop (perhaps this is the Hesston or other connection).

Somebody- on one side or the other- had a 'Hey, wait a minute...' moment and they tried the gathering unit to cut a few beans. It worked and the rowcrop head was born. The two factories squabbled over which would be responsible for development/marketing and Harvester won. For a Parts Manager, it was a bit of a headache to stock non-Harvester-sourced parts during harvest season.

The head worked great- would cut beans as fast as you could stay on the row. Worked even better for milo and sunflowers. There were problems:
1. Combines got bigger and it was hard to make the headers big enough to match capacity.
2. With better chemicals and seeders, lots of farmers switched to drilling soybeans.
3. If you grew corn, soybeans/milo/sunflowers, and wheat could a guy justify owning/maintaining three different headers? A few did.
4. Maintenance was/is expensive compared to a regular platform.
 
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8850dave
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 2:57 am    Post subject: Re: John Deere row crop heads Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Plus they were much heavier than a 200 series platform and when it was muddy it was a real challenge staying on the row, in the fall of 1977 we had lots of very wet conditions and that killed sales of those heads
 
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