From stalk stompers to stalk choppers - CORNADO headers for harvesting corn

With low energy consumption and easier, more convenient operation, OROS CORNADO corn headers ensure efficient harvesting and high-quality stalk chopping and can be fitted to any combine - and in the same colour as the machine. Although looks are becoming more and more important for farmers these days, it is of course what a header can do that counts. CORNADO's various basic and optional solutions can improve farmers' productivity - even in the most modern farming systems.

Combine harvester developments pioneered the way

By the early 2000s, earlier models of the OROS corn headers were helping farmers across Europe. This was the time when the market for combine harvesters was developing faster than ever before, for example in terms of working speed and performance. This encouraged Hungarian developers to take their headers to the next level. This was only reinforced by the demand from farmers for more efficient chopping.

In response to this, the ancestor of the OROS CORNADO header was born in 2007, and the version that has been tested for years became available on the market in 2010. The basic principles were clear: the new tool had to be foldable, guarantee high harvesting speeds and high performance, but with the lowest possible energy consumption, while at the same time being a step forward in chopping.

The fixed OROS CORNADO headers are now available in 6, 8, 9, 12, 16 and 18 row versions with 50.8 cm, 56, 70, 76.2, 80 and 96.5 cm row spacing, while the folding versions are available in 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 row sizes, also with a wide range of row spacing. All of these have been developed to meet customer requirements, as the engineers have always relied on field experience during further development and refinement. After all, the most experience with headers is gained by those who use them daily in season.

Efficiency (also) lies in the details

While previous models harvested at speeds of 6-8 km/h, the OROS CORNADO headers currently on the market can harvest at speeds of up to 15 km/h without compromising the quality of the stalk chopping.

Another major improvement, and still an important feature of OROS headers, is that they require significantly less maintenance. Whereas previously they required daily maintenance, now they only require a visual inspection and mandatory pre-season preparation and maintenance.

The OROS CORNADO headers are equipped with a hydraulic snapping plate adjustment, which significantly contributes to a comfortable and efficient work, as the operator can make the necessary adjustments from the combine cab, according to the specific field and corn crop.

If the corn is particularly tall, or if the crop is tilted, side extensions will help to bring the corn into the snapping unit of the header. This can be a plastic extension,but can also be fitted with hydraulically driven rotary end dividers, which use a rotary divider to allow for gentler corn harvesting.
But a similar purpose is served by the rubber ear catcher, which is a particularly useful option at higher working speeds: it prevents the corn cobs from popping out of the header.

Each row of the header is equipped with a safety switch, so the machine is protected against overloading. In the event of a shutdown, the entire header has to be restarted, in which case the automatically stopped line is also immediately reactivated. In extreme cases, such as a bicycle frame or similar obstacle, the operator will of course have to intervene, but for a normal overload due to stock, the problem can also be solved from the cab. However, the developers say that the latter case is extremely rare, as the torque on the safety switches has been increased over the years from what it was initially, to ensure that harvesting continues at the highest harvesting speeds and high yields.

Stalk chopping at the highest level

A key question during harvesting is how much stubble is left after the combine. OROS CORNADO's stalk chopper ideally chops the stalk into 5.5 cm pieces, which is extremely efficient, but the stalk residue that emerges from the ground after the operation is sharp, almost spear-shaped, which is not good for the tractor's tires during further work. The stalk stomper, however, breaks up this residue and lays it down so that it cannot cause further damage. If you look at the prices of tires, you can see that this option can recover its price very quickly.

The stalk stomper can also be particularly important in regenerative management practices that are gaining attention, such as no-till, where the stalk residues are not rotated and mixed in. It is therefore the task of the combine to remove the stalks, as well as to ensure that the chopped stalks provide as much cover as possible on the soil surface, thus increasing soil life, which then accelerates decomposition so that the next time at the direct drilling stage the stalk residue is no longer a problem. The 5.5 cm piece also reduces the number of pests, such as corn rootworms, that survive over the winter, whether using conventional or regenerative techniques. Of course, this also requires a bit of frost...

The use of automatic header height control can also be a great help in increasing the efficiency of chopping. From the cab of the combine, it is difficult to see and adjust the size of the stalks. The size of the residue left over can be adjusted by the height of the adapter. The optional electric sensors automatically maintain the stubble height, so the operator doesn't have to worry about that, and can concentrate on the specific harvest, while making sure he leaves an ideal stubble.

The autopilot also significantly reduces the operator's workload and eliminates a number of errors. It helps the combine to always follow the corn line - with automatic steering.

A relatively new option in the OROS range is the fitting of stubble lights (for John Deere, New Holland and Claas combines). For night harvesting, LED spotlights are offered to illuminate the area both to the front and rear, but also to make the grain carrier visible.

The OROS CORNADO is of course a universal header, so it can be fitted to all types of combine harvester with the aid of a mounting insert. It is quick-connect, so there is no need to spend hours attaching the picker head every time.

Corn header in sunflower

The OROS CORNADO corn header can be adapted to harvest sunflower using a sunflower kit, but it’s recommended only for smaller farms where around 50-100 hectares need to be harvested each year. The seed loss is not comparable with, for example, OROS SUN headers.

There is a tradition of periodic modification of grain headers, as in the days of the cooperative farms, scythe blades were regularly welded to the equipment. Although the solution was ingenious and it actually worked, the OROS specialists wanted to provide a more serious solution for cutting the sunflower stalk and getting it onto the machine - all in a way that could be removed and installed.

This solution is significantly cheaper than buying a sunflower header. OROS CORNADO can be converted for about a tenth of the cost of an OROS SUN header.

An advantage is that it allows harvesting of the crop when it is completely downed, almost on the ground, which a sunflower header would not be able to do - especially in the case of stalk chopping versions. However, the corn header can be placed on the ground, but in this case, it’s recommended turning off the chopper, which further reduces seed loss.

Generally speaking, the efficiency of the sunflower kit is reduced the more easily the seeds fall out of the plate. If harvesting is done in time, the operation will be efficient. Nevertheless, in larger areas, for the sake of flexibility, the method cannot replace, for example, the efficient and accurate work of the OROS SUN sunflower header.

Dániel Gribek 

© Linamar Hungary Zrt. OROS Division All Rights Reserved.




Linamar Hungary Zrt. - OROS

5900 HUNGARY - Csorvási út 27.

 Telefon: +36 68 514 600

 Fax: +36 68 514 692