Clean the Combine to Prevent Spreading Weeds This Fall
One of the agricultural news letters I get emailed to me every morning is called Morning Ag Clips. One article written by University of Minnesota educator Nathan Drewitz caught my attention. Preventing Weed Spread This Fall. Combines can hold up to 200 pounds of weed seeds that can be spread where ever the combine goes. So, maybe we should follow the lead of the pea combines and sweet corn pickers when they finish with one field. Before they move to the next all the equipment is cleaned.
For many years at least one time a day I blow off my combine with a leaf blower. Just getting all the dust and crop residue off the combine seemed to be a good idea to prevent fires! I guess I never thought about spreading weed seeds to another farm? Here is a list of a few simple steps Nathan got from the North Central Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Academy's Combine Clean Out series.
- Run unloading auger empty for at least one minute.
- Open the clean grain and tailings elevator doors, rock trap, and unloading auger sump.
- Start the combine and separator.
- Operate the combine this way for at least two minutes for self-cleaning.
- Clean any material left in the rock trap.
- Use a leaf blower or air compressor to remove material from exterior of the combine focusing on the header, feederhouse, and axle and straw spreader at the rear of the machine.
- Remember to close the doors to the rock trap, clean the grain elevator, and the unloading auger sump.
These few steps will prevent transporting weeds from one field to another! Maybe you have perfectly clean corn and beans fields and you don't have any weed seeds to spread with the combine?
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