Sunnybrook put a number of box style concaves into farmer-owned STS combines for real-world field-testing during the 2011 harvest. Each farmer had access to the four types of boxes.
Shawn Abel of Calmar, Alta. , installed a box style concave on his 9750.
“In wheat, we ran the 45 degree max thresh on the first concave, then the fine round bar concaves, then the John Deere fine wire at the back,” says Abel.
“I think the John Deere wire concave has more play in it. They flex too much.
“The Sunnybrook tolerances are way tighter, so you don’t get that play. We get better cleaning through the Sunnybrook.”
Abel says cleaning white caps out of the sample has always been a problem in the past. He still gets a few white caps running the maximum thresh, but not as many.
He also tried the maximum thresh on a few hundred acres of peas, with no damage to the skins.
“For canola, we ran a pair of smooth box frames at the front, a pair of round bar frames in the centre and the original John Deere wire concave at the back.
“We had no chaff buildup over the shoe like we had previously. It kept the chaff more up in the rotor.
“We gained harvest ability because there was no overloading on the shoe.”
He likes the way each frame carries seven individual boxes, making repairs quick and inexpensive.
“We put a rock through and it only knocked out two boxes. But they didn’t get all bent up. We were able to use them again.
“It takes me less than a half hour to change the concaves or make repairs in there. Probably less than half the time compared to a John Deere concave.”
The Acadia Colony near Oyen, Alta., runs seven combines. Mike Entz says they try many different things each year and compare results. In 2011, they had a 9860 STS set up with Sunnybrook concaves.
His combine had four Sunnybrook maximum thresh concaves at the front with two standard Sunnybrook concaves at the back. He says the combination worked well in the tough durum field where they started, so he left it alone when they went into barley, wheat and even canola.
“I had the other boxes he (Gerald Foster) gave me for canola and other things, but I don’t goof around when something is working for me,” says Entz. “I had no filler plates at all through the whole harvest. The other guys were running two or three filler plates. But my durum samples were better.”
In some fields, Entz did side-by-side comparisons with three other combines, all with 36-foot headers.
“Some of them ran the extra narrow (wire spacing) from Precision Farming, but I still got a better sample.
“I was always running the concave three or four (settings) more open than the other combines.
“I never put the concave clearance under 12, and that’s with no filler plates for the whole time. I think the secret is to put four maximum thresh boxes at the front.”