Protecting tires from tough plants

BRANDON — It looks something like a mud flap that fell off a semi-trailer, but it’s a mighty helpful piece of heavy duty rubber if you grow corn. Corn stalks destroy tires.

The list of devices designed to protect tires from corn stalks just gained a new member, the May Wes G4 Stalk Stomper, from Huchinson, Minnesota.

The 12-inch wide Stalk Stomper is made of half-inch thick UHMW poly rather than steel, so it remains flexible. It is mounted with a torsion spring to absorb shock, according to importer Ryan Wilke.

“Residue can damage and even destroy tires. That mainly happens with corn stubble, but we also see it with sunflower and even canola stubble,” says Wilke, explaining that the Stomper mounts behind the combine header, but ahead of the combine tires. The G4 Stomper is also gaining popularity on planter and air drill tires.

“It just drags along the field surface, knocking over the stalks and pushing them down so that when your tires run over, the stubble is flat and facing the right way so your tire isn’t damaged. It just rolls right over and lays everything down.”

Wilke says the G4 is the fourth generation of stalk stomping devices they have handled. They have stopped carrying the long sled type ski stomper because it was so long that it would get caught.

“One farmer told us that the long ski would get caught in the tracks and get pulled off. The result was that the G2 stomper damaged the header and the track system. This G4 is vertical instead of horizontal, so it won’t catch on anything. It only takes up about six inches.

“And you can swing it out of the way when you need. There’s a pin in the mounting bracket. You pull the pin, turn the Stomper 90 degrees out of the way and you’re ready to go travelling down the road.”

The G4 Stalk Stomper is carried by Wilke Sales in Regina. List price is $640 for each unit.

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