You're a Regular King of the Post You're Liked 2 You're 10
Jul 15, 2012
Fairview, Alberta
2006 Z06
OK, well some of you have said you do find my farming posts interesting so here is more.

On the plus side 4 more railcars came, they were suppose to be here MOnday morning, nope, Monday night, nope, Tuesday morning, nope, Tuesday night yes but not ont he spur line for us to load at. So Wednesday morning 10 am they were finally in the right spot. But two days lost in a holding pattern waiting for that to happen............

The cars are loaded and gone as of yesterday too. I bought a new (to me) grain truck, a 1985 IHC with a Cummins L10, wonderful engine, 300 hp and 1100 ft/lb. I can even shift without clutching after 2 days of practice which is sort of fun.

I bid on some things at an auction sale yesterday. Everything was over budget but one item, a 25' stripper header which I got for the unbelieveable price of a giveaway at $1000!

They were designed to harvest peas for the canning industry in England. As is the habit of farmers they tried it on other crops and found out it worked well. The main use I have for it besides field peas is on cereals - wheat, barley and oats although people have also used them on grass seed crops like brome and fescue.

So why use a stripper header? Well it has a huge drum with rows of "combs" along it and the combs rotate in a sweeping fashion, the stalks get caught in a "keyhole" but the head of grain itself is too big so the head gets popped off the stem and goes into the combine. But none of the straw does!! The benefits:

1)much greater combine capacity since you are not processing any straw
2)no challenges in spreading the straw at the back end of the combine since the straw is already perfectly distributed!
3)the tall straw catches snow over the winter
4)the tall straw prevents moisture evaporation in the growing season which for a dryland farmer like me is my limiting crop production factor.

And yes I've done the field scale, replicated research trials to verify the yield benefit to the subsequent crops!

I bought a stripper header, a 20' model back about 8 years ago for $8,000 which was a bargin then so you see why I am so happy with this one.

Why don't more farmers use them?

1)Seeding through the tall straw can be a challenge and you can plug your airseeder.
2)The false preception that the tall straw makes your soil cooler so crops don't grow as fast.
3)The inability to understand and recognize that moisture is our limiting factor in growing crops here.

Use of a stripper header doesn't mean we get any more rain in the growing season for example, it just means that it has more of a chance to soak into the ground since the tall stubble acts like a full sized windbreak and reduces the wind velocity at the soil surface.

Way cool!

Now to prepare for the weather today, a heavy snowfall warning, 10 cm expected, winds up to 60 km/hr..............


Garry, thanks for the education on farming. Gives us some knowledge of where our food actually comes from and I think that is important.

Keep up the good and hard work. Have a good farming season.

By the way I now know why my CN stock does so well. They are so efficient. Oh my.
Thanks for the encouragement! Least until I can post about my first spring drives!

No doubt lots of crude, lumber, ore and coal being moved. Higher shipping rates than for grain! But getting grain to where it can be exported and for in-country processing ought to have some degree of importance!

CN blames the unusually cold weather this winter yet record volumes of non-grain freight was handled - hummmmm..................not sure that makes sense now!


I sure could have used a stripper header when swathing lentils for my friends dad a few years back. All I had was a 36 foot rigid, which was sort of hilarious because I would be trying to get the lentils on the left side only to notice I was digging through dirt on the right. :rofl: A bit frustrating at the time but funny now.
Good morning Riley,

That is another one of the benefits is that you are normally cutting some much higher off the ground, providing the crop is not lodged.

Having said that, the first time I saw a stripper header used, back in oh 1994, was in one of the heaviest hard red spring wheat crops I'd ever been in, an honest 100 bu/ac crop and in those days! There were areas that were, as they say, flatter than Patsy's ass and the combine just slowed down, dropped the header and it still plucked off every head! It was so funny to see the lodged stems spring back up again after those heavy heads had been removed!

I'll have to try to get a video to post on YouTube when I'm using it this fall so you can see it in operation.


You mentioned shifting without the clutch. I went for a run with a friend in his tractor trailer gravel truck. He never used the clutch except to take off and when stopping. He drove by the tach and you wouldn't even notice that he wasn't using the clutch if he didn't mention it. Harold has been driving these rigs all his life, so he has been pretty good at it.
Good morning Keith,

Yes that is exactly it! Only using the clutch to start or stop. Otherwise watch for 500 rpm changes going up or down between the four gears and LOW/HIGH range. I hate to admit it but you feel like a "real trucker" when you can do that! In some ways just like an automatic tranny except you have to move the gear lever. When you get it right it just slides from gear to gear and you (or I at least) have such a feeling of accomplishment. Plus it sounds so cool too.

I even have a working air horn that I can't wait to show my son. Scared the daylights out of mom when I came into the yard with teh truck the day of the auction sale........

No better place for a big kid than on a farm with all the equipment to play with.


Hey BH76, what sort of site do you think Riley is running here?! Or for that matter what kind of people do you think post here?! Car nuts yes, plain nuts no!

Keith, my only hope is that unlike so many I see, including my father (78) and Uncle (75), is that I'll have the wisdom to stop this at some point in my life to allow others to experience their dream, perhaps my son? These old guys don't seem to have a whole lot of hobbies in their lives and so it seems this is all that they live for which strikes me as a bit sad. I enjoy farming, don't get me wrong, a great way to make a living too, but not the reason why I am alive by any stretch of the imagination............


I lived the musclecar era and kept on living it to this day. It has always been my number one interest. We have a cottage to get away to and I enjoy canoeing around the lake early in the morning when most are still sleeping. When you are working for someone else, it's just a job and in a big company like GM you are just a number. It makes it a lot easier to separate work and enjoyment time. In retirement, we just have a LOT more enjoyment time. There is still more than enough work keeping the house and property in shape. Works for us.
Hey BH76, what sort of site do you think Riley is running here?! Or for that matter what kind of people do you think post here?! Car nuts yes, plain nuts no!



Yes, that is what my other forum is Corset Forum. :rofl:
And we plain don't like nuts on that other forum either! :p

I enjoy my job, but I sure am not going to miss it when I retire. In the meantime I hope to develop hobbies that will carry me through retirement.
And all the talk about a good head'er? And all the talk of fertility?

All laughs aside, years ago I sent an email to a friend who was working for an agro supplier when I bought my first stripper header and it was blocked by their email software for having the sord "stripper" in it! True story.
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