A Cimarron farmer, a custom cutter and a Manhattan agriculture consultant have designed, built, patented and distributed a new type of dual disc cutter that converts corn heads to harvest sorghum, sunflowers and cellulose, and other row crops.
According to the Hutch News, Cimarron farmer Kyle Kopper and custom cutter Randy Burns recently partnered with Alan VanNahmen of Farm Buddy, Co., to design, build, patent and distribute the Alternate Rotary Rowcrop Option (ARRO).
Kopper, manager of Kopper Family Farms, wanted to lower machinery costs and achieve more consistent residue management for his no-till crop rotation of corn, wheat and milo, according to a press release from Kopper Kutter, LLC. At the same time, Burns wanted to lower the maintenance costs of his existing row crop headers, while VanNahmen was seeking an improved header for cellulosic ethanol crop harvesting.
Subsequently, the trio teamed up to design, build, patent and distribute the ARRO™ – Alternate Rotary Rowcrop Option, which can be retro-fitted to existing OEM corn heads.
According to the press release, the development process began during the 2015 sorghum harvest when Kopper began comparing milo harvesting heads that fell short on both performance and cost, so the three men sketched up, fabricated and installed four different prototype cutting systems on multiple row units of one of their existing John Deere 612C corn heads. After making a few adjustments, the crew was able to come up with a dual disc cutter design that was simple, reliable and cost-effective and could be retro-fitted onto late model corn heads.
Kopper, VanNahmen and Burns pooled financing and formed the Kopper Kutter LLC and began working with other Kansas ag manufacturers to refine and build more of their trademarked “ARRO” conversion kits for more makes and models.
Additional Kopper Kutter ARRO kits will be made available in 2017 for other corn-head makes and models in 2017 at an estimated cost of $1,000 per row unit and will be distributed by Hutchinson-based Shield Agricultural Equipment.
Kopper Kutter’s patent-pending design recently won an American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Distinguished Ag Engineering Top 50 award, which will be presented to the company in February 2017.