Prep Harvest Equipment for Winter Storage
With harvest mostly finished, producers should make sure their equipment is ready for winter months.
Harvest 2020 was different for many Iowa farmers due to the derecho. An unusual harvest caused more wear on equipment due to downed corn and rough ground. This extra wear makes cleaning equipment this winter and identifying needed maintenance all the more important.
Cleaning and inspecting equipment in preparation for future seasons is important to keep equipment in the best shape possible. To get a combine ready for winter storage, be sure to remove all shields and covers, blow the machine off and provide a thorough power washing. Remove any extra displays and store for winter.
After the derecho, fields were left in a different shape than years past, requiring a lot more out of equipment.
“A lot of people are dealing with downed corn and there is going to be a lot more mud and dirt packed up underneath the heads,” said Levi Powell, harvest expert with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Extra dirt piles up and can be difficult to get clean. Loosening the gathering chains in the combine head provides more access for cleaning.
Walk around and check for any major repairs that need to be made, being sure to make a list before putting the machine away. When getting the combine out before the next season, make a list of what needs to be worked on.
“A lot of dealerships offer programs where you pay a fee, and when you are done combining, you can take it there and they blow if off, wash it and store it all winter for you,” said Powell.
There are multiple options available for winter storage.
Cleaning equipment is not only great for preserving the value of equipment, but also makes equipment less attractive to rodents in the winter.
Source: Iowa State University