Canadian firm unveils stripper header to rival Shelbourne

Shelbourne Reynolds’ domination of the stripper header market could be under threat, at least in North America, following the launch of the Raptor from K-Hart Industries.

The firm hails from Manitoba, Canada, and has decided to muscle in on the stripper market following increased demand from prairie farmers.

This has predominantly been driven by drought issues, which can be partly alleviated by leaving the harvested stems standing at full height over winter.

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Doing so traps more snow that increases soil moisture to sustain crop growth through late spring and summer.

The first iteration of the Raptor is 12.5m (41ft) wide and was available in limited numbers for this harvest.

However, 9.45m (31ft), 10.67m (35ft) and 13.7m (45ft) versions are set to go into production for next season.

The design is similar to that of the long-established Shelbourne stripper, with grain whipped from the ears by teeth on an eight-bar drum before being transferred to the combine’s feeder house by a cross auger.

Options include a Headsight header height control system, a two-speed gearbox to provide rotor speeds from 450-870rpm without necessitating a change of pulley, and colour-coded paint for the deflector and end shields.

Potential advantages

Beyond the snow trapping benefit, which is fairly specific to North America, K-Hart lists a handful of other advantages to running a stripper header.

Chief among these is the ability to travel up to 50% quicker and, as a result, clock fewer combine hours.

Fuel consumption will also be reduced thanks to the increased hourly output and because it is not having to process or chop any straw.

Though the company reckons the header can lift and harvest lodged crops, strippers can be tricky to get the best from – particularly in thin cereal crops where losses tend to be high.

K-Hart also builds a range of zero-till drills, such as the low-disturbance Spyder.

Its double-disc openers are designed to chop through the significant trash volumes left after a stripper header harvest, but they’re not suitable for the UK.

The smallest model is 12m wide and folds to 4.5m for transport.

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