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Compatibility of ARRO® heads has success with Sorghum

Now, every sorghum and sunflower farmer can have a compatible color matched row head on their combines. The Kopper Kutter LLC ARRO® – Alternate Rotary Rowcrop Option kits are used to convert major line corn heads to cut sorghum and sunflowers. This is done by removing the stalk rolls, deck plates and trash knives.  The patented ARRO kit includes new dual disc cutting blades, sprockets, bearings, new profile deck plates and chain guides. Most of the conversions simply requires drilling two holes in each row unit frame for the new ARRO disc blade mounting location.  Existing chain drive sprockets, idlers, gathering chains and chain tensioners can be reused if not worn too bad.  The ARRO conversion kit cost about $1,000 / row and 2-3 man hours of labor per row unit for the first time conversion depending on make, model, rust and wear.

Optimum performance is obtained by selecting new or a good used cornhead that match the vintage, make and model of combine that you are using. These will have maximum compatible interface and performance.  Also, low priced used cornheads with worn out stalk rolls are available on the open and auction markets.  They are still reliable and most compatible with each OEMs high horsepower combines.  Rugged cornheads have oil enclosed end drives and slipclutch protected row unit gearcases. The spring-loaded chain tensioners, poly center shields and points provide added reliability with minimal daily maintenance. The multilink connections enable full use of compatible header height control systems, stubble lighting, and extremity hazard lighting for best road safety. Most OEM service parts are available from your local dealer.  If necessary, ARRO cornheads can be used to cut and harvest dryland corn and/or can be converted back to pick high yielding or still irrigated corn. In fact, baling corn stover behind the Glenvar Bale Direct System was an additional reason for creating the ARRO conversion kits.

The Kopper Kutter LLC was formed by a trifecta of farmer, custom harvester and ag engineer working together with an objective to create a reliable header to efficiently harvest standing as well as lodged Sorghum in western Kansas. The JD50A rowcrop heads designed in the 1970s to harvest soybeans no longer matched the requirements of higher horsepower combines and modern No-Till farming.  The 50A series rowcrop heads, as well as straight cut headers required cutting lodged and down milo crop right down on the ground to get those few low lying heads. This requires excessive power and fuel consumption while causing more grain loss over the cleaning shoe, while leaving the ground bare and more susceptible to wind, rain, and water erosion.   Since “Corn is King” in the US, the combine manufacturers steer clear of itchy milo and have concentrated on making good corn heads for that primary US crop.  Kopper Kutter LLC evaluated half a dozen potential solutions including using various shortline and OEM headers and different cutting systems. Over the past five years, KK LLC has optimized their patented and trademarked ARRO conversion to existing OEM cornheads.

Last year, 2020 provided opportunities and challenges for Sorghum producers.  Covid19 slowed production from many of our ag parts suppliers.  Planting conditions in some areas were obstructed by drought followed by excessive rain falls which hindered herbicide application and weed control. Eventually the export demand for Sorghum expanded and the price exceed that of corn.

The 2021 Sorghum and Sunflower outlook is bright as commodity demand continues to grow.  New Advanta Alta igrowth Sorghum varieties compatible with existing herbicides will enable control of pre and post emergence weeds and grasses for the first time.  Kopper Kutter will continue to Make Harvest Fun Again (sm) by increasing production of ARRO kits for the 2021 production.  Unforeseen production obstacles might re-occur in 2021, so Kopper Kutter LLC encourages farmers to order the ARRO conversions early. Due to the postponement and cancellation of 2021 Ag Conventions and Farm Expos, Kopper Kutter LLC will be providing updates on these new products in the future:

  • Validating the 2021 ARRO 50B upgrade for older JD 50A series rowcrop heads to our reliable ARRO dual disc blade cutters which will eliminate drive chain and the excessive spike torque loads associated with the 6 blade star cutters.
  • Promoting CHIS: Combine-to-Header Interface Standardization to improve compatibility of feederhouse frame sizes, drives, electrical and hydraulic functions in the future along the lines of ASABE proposal paper 05-5008.
  • Development of CLAD – Center Line Auxiliary Drive to front end headers on combines to move toward automatic hook up and future ag industry header standardization.
  • YMOD – Yield Monitor and Obstruction Detection System for individual row units. Patent Pending
Kopper Kutter