Clean that combine
Combines are an impressive farm machine. They also collect impressive amounts of material during harvest. As much as 150-pounds of chaff, grain, and weed seed can wedge into tight spaces within the machine, and obvious places such as the gathering head and grain tank. Before you park your combine for the season, clean it out front-to-back and top-to-bottom.
Jeff Gray is a product manager responsible for field support with Claas. He says it’s impossible to remove all the material, but not thoroughly cleaning the combine invites visitors you don’t want.
"They finish the season and they might blow it off and they neglect other areas of the combine. They don’t clean the rock trap out, they don’t clean the conveyor regions out on the combine they just let that material sit in there and that is just bait for vermin. You leave that in there, that’s a buffet," says Gray. "When you attract all the mice and rats to your combine or any other piece of farm machinery, they’re going to get in there and they’re going to make a mess."
Your dealer will know you didn’t clean it properly when you bring it in for maintenance issues.
"That also tells me that any other issue that you may have had during the previous season you haven’t looked at since last fall. And you’re going to start running down the wire toward harvest and find out, hey, I’ve got some problems with the combine I should have taken care of at the end of last season, if I would have only cleaned it out and inspected the combine. So, I see that fairly often," he says. "There’s still a lot of combines that get put away dirty and that doesn’t help anything out at all."
Cleaning the combine is also an essential weed control tactic. Weed seeds left in the machine this year could find their way into your field next year.