R1 Rotary Plot Combine Breaks Bread with Wheat Researchers
Posted on Monday, July 17, 2017
ALMACO’s newest research plot combine recently dipped its toes in the waters of wheat research for the first time. The R1 rotary plot combine has made a definite mark in the soybean research field, but has not been widely demonstrated in small grains until this year.
Earlier this month, ALMACO partnered with one of its clients to put the plot combine into wheat research. They chose Colorado as the proving ground, with a large, robust wheat crop difficult to harvest compared to many other regions. Using ALMACO’s newly released Floating Standard Auger Head with air assist technology, the R1 exceeded expectations in terms of harvest speeds, sample cleanliness, seed loss, and ease of cleanout.
“The operators really liked the quiet, comfortable cab, along with the built-in safety features. With the sample bagging chute inside the cab, operators were able to do with one to two people what took them four people to do with their old combine,” said Cody Sobotka, Lead Engineer and Product Manager for the R1. “This allowed the operators to stay cooler and cleaner than before, which they really appreciated.”
Sobotka went on to note how impressed the customers were with how gentle the rotary threshing system was on the grain with such little grain loss compared to their other machine. “The samples were cleaner and we were able to dial the settings in to get very little seed damage as well.”
The R1 first launched as a soybean research plot combine in 2016 and performed exceptionally well, demonstrating up to a 30% improvement in harvest speeds and dramatic improvements in both sample cleanliness and seed damage in comparison to competitive alternatives.
The R1 was designed from the ground up for better performance and durability, plus better cleanout for researchers doing purity work. The first plot combine on the market with a rotary threshing system, the R1 is intentionally designed to be used as a multi-crop research plot combine. The combine’s flexibility and simple changeover process allows seed researchers to invest less capital in their harvesting equipment and increase their fleet’s ROI.
Although this is the R1’s debut in harvesting wheat research plots, it’s not its first small seed harvesting adventure. Earlier this year, the R1 was used by a flower producer to harvest highly valuable and delicate flower seeds in California. The R1’s compact design and high performance made it an ideal choice for the specialized seed harvesting application.
The R1 has also performed well in corn plots, making it especially valuable to breeders with multiple crops grown in the same location(s). ALMACO expects to make the plot combine widely available to other researchers in the near future, with the intent to prove its capabilities in additional crops like sorghum and canola.
Widely known for their products' custom options and configurations, ALMACO designed the R1 for integration with automated seed packaging systems like the APx, their newest and most efficient in-cab packaging system.
With its innovative new products providing new solutions to seed researchers' challenges, ALMACO is excited to do its part in feeding the world.