Chaff and straw spreader for a plot combine

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Uniform distribution of crop residue is critical in long-term no-till and conservation-till cropping systems experiments. Many farm-scale combines utilize factory or aftermarket chaff and straw spreaders, but most plot combines for research lack this capability. We fabricated a high volume air system to evenly distribute chaff and straw behind a plot combine. The combine engine powered a high-pressure radial blade blower fan to deliver air via a dual manifold through rubber flex hose to two distribution pipes mounted under the sieves. Visual comparisons from the harvest of several crop species demonstrated that chaff and straw were effectively spread with the attachment compared with checks. Total cost and time for fabrication and installation of the chaff and straw spreader attachment was $710 for materials and 15 h of labor.

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