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New corn head brand coming to Iowa

By Staff | Nov 16, 2013

A VIEW OF a Maya corn head in action from inside Lance Bruch’s combine. The snoots sit flatter along the ground, Bruch said, than other corn head designs, making it easier to get under corn ears.

EMMETSBURG – A new corn head is about to hit the U.S. markets, with a dealership out of north central Iowa.

Lance Bruch, a grain farmer three miles south of Emmetsburg, invited media on Nov. 7 to watch a demonstration of a Spanish-made corn harvesting head that has some unique features.

Bruch said that he and his brother, Justin Bruch, plan to open a dealership and service shop out of his farm to market Maya corn heads. They come with a three-year unconditional warranty.

Bruch harvested an estimated total 300 acres of corn with an eight-row Maya head on Nov. 8 and 9. Maya heads also come in 12-rows.

Both heads will fold, a factor Bruch thinks will appeal to Iowa farmers who would not have to put a 12-row on a trailer for transportation.

MAYA CORN HEADS will fold for easier transportation, even this eight-row design. Lance Bruch, who demonstrated the Maya brand on Nov. 7 in a field southeast of Emmetsburg, said the big advantage will be with the 12-row design which will be easier for transporting along Iowa roads. The eight-row head folds due to narrower roads in Europe.

Bruch said what he likes about the Maya design is its durable construction and materials, and the snoots sit closer to ground level than typical combine heads.

“It gets under the corn ears better,” Bruch said, during the demonstration.

He said he likes how the head chops stover into finer pieces, made possible by a unique placements of the knives. The heads can work fast enough that he was able to drive 5.5 miles per hour through he field, and the head kept up with the pace.

Company owner Luis Urbon, who attended the demonstration, said the speed through the field will vary depending on the moisture content in the stalks. The wetter the stalks, the slower the speed through the field.

Bruch said he’s enthused about that Maya heads can be retrofitted to harvest downed or lodged corn.

THE MAYA EIGHT-ROW corn head at work during a Nov. 7 field demonstration five miles southeast of Emmetsburg.

A series of short rake fingers on a paddle-wheel can pull lodged corn into the head from the sides, while snoots can be adapted with additional fingers to pick up downed corn and bring those ears into the combine.

After the Saturday harvesting, Bruch attached the equipment for downed and lodged corn saying it took less than an hour to retrofit, and expects with practice, that process can be cut to about 30 minutes.

The Bruch brothers intend to have their new shop building constructed by spring and hope to have some corn heads available.

The downed corn attachments will also be available, he said, but doesn’t think most farmers will purchase the attachments, “since they probably won’t need them most years.”

But in those years with standability issues, such as fall 2012 throughout north central Iowa, he would make the equipment available to customers.

THE MAYA HEAD can be retrofitted for ease of harvesting downed corn. Two snoots in the center have catches that can pull downed corn into the head. A similar attachment is made on the ends of the corn head.

Urbon said his father started the company 35 years ago, which he and his brother now manage.

“All we do is corn heads,” he said. “It’s very durable, and we offer a three-year guarantee on everything.”

He said with a few modifications, the Maya head can be ready for harvesting sunflowers.

That won’t have much appeal in North Iowa, Bruch said, but could be a consideration in the Dakotas if the Maya design takes hold in the Midwest.

He said he plans to attend farm equipment shows to introduce the brand in the U.S.

THE ENDS OF the Maya corn head have an attachment added with rotating rakes that pull downed or lodged corn into the head. Luis Urbon, president of Maya, who was on hand at the Nov. 7 demonstration near Emmetsburg, said the brand is popular throughout Europe.

“By next spring,” Bruch said, “we’re hoping to see the parts shop finished and a dozen heads out here.”

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