Steel deals - used combine, new weeds

The demand for late-model low-hour combines is strong which means a surge in used harvester values. If you purchase one, what you don’t want is a surge in weeds. The increasing use of the internet to buy used combines from across the state or across state lines merits a warning that the machines are not sold weed-free, whether they come from an auction or dealer.

Dave Mowitz is the machinery editor for Successful Farming magazine. He says you don’t know where that combine’s been and what weed seeds might be still be lurking in it.

"You may think, well, I can just start that combine up and run it and the seed will come out. However, even after they did this in an Iowa State study, they ran the combine and tried to get everything out of it just by normal operation," says Mowitz. "They still went through and did a thorough cleaning of that combine and found as much as 150 pounds of bio-material – chaff, residue, grain and weed seeds."

He says Pioneer has produced a step-by-step YouTube video that explains how to do a thorough clean. The job will take you 6-8 hours.

"You just brought this combine in, you don’t want to be bringing in any weed seed in with it. So, I highly, highly recommend you take the time, you clean it out. It’s an itchy, sweaty, no fun job and make sure you wear lots of PPE," he says. "It’s not a COVID causer but boy there’s a lot of dust when you do this. You’re going to use high-powered leaf blower, you’re going to use a lot of compressed air, and you’re going to go in there and want to get rid of as much weed seed as possible."