Published: September 10, 2010
By KATIE NICKAS
KILMORE, Ind. -- Meet Don Estes, the inventor of "The Disrupter," a tool de-signed to reduce rotor loss in corn and roping green stem soybeans on modern combines. The former owner of Estes Manufacturing Co. in Flanagan, Mich., Estes has been rebuilding and hard-facing concaves and cylinder and rotor bars for the better part of 30 years.
After retiring in 2003 and following his heart to Kil-more, his family opened C M Welding Inc., where he is a consultant and helps with the operation of the new business. All of his parts and services he had in Illinois are now available to farmers nationwide.
"The threshing of grain has changed very little since its beginning, but the new rotor design has changed the direction of travel of the crop," Estes said. "Material still rubs on material to thrash. Separation is now a concern because of the volume of the crops we harvest.
"The Disrupter was de-signed to cut up the green stem bean straw in Case IH axial flow combines, but we also found that it cuts up the corn shucks that carry kernels of corn out -- a very large concern with farmers harvesting high-yielding and high-moisture crop," he ex-plained. The rotor-designed system is very forgiving to crop damage because of the speed that the crop travels, Estes noted.
"In the older cylinder machines, running at 300 rpm to a 900 rpm cylinder speed, the crop would be moving at that speed immediately when hitting the cylinder," he said. "The rotor -- on the other hand -- is an auger, and it screws the crop over the concave and separation section at a much-reduced speed, thus making it more forgiving, with a lot less grain damage." The rotors are also more forgiving to corn shuck and bean straw, he noted. Because of the numerous concerns of corn rotor loss in the John Deere STS rotor, Estes has designed a Dis-rupter part that can be used in the separation section of all JD STS machines with standard separation grates.
"The only way corn can be carried out of the rotor is on whole corn shucks or large pieces of corn shucks," he explained. "The 12 Disrupter lug spikes are installed in the separation section of the rotor on a 90-degree angle with the crops rearward movement. The shucks are being propelled by the existing tines on the STS rotor and will be pulverized by the Disrupter lugs as they pass through, leaving more corn in your machine."
Last May, Estes sent a set of the JD STS Disrupters to Tony Ferkins in Gisborne, New Zealand. Mr. Ferkins reported a 50-percent rotor loss decrease in 260 bushels of corn at 26-percent moisture, and they virtually eliminated his rotor loss in normal conditions, he explained. In 2000, Case IH approved the Disrupter for axial flow machines and carried them in their parts. Estes now sells his products directly to Case IH and John Deere dealers and also farmers directly.
He also offers free consulting for dealers and farmers. Shoup Manufacturing in Kankakee, Ill., and Abilene Machine in Abilene, Kan., have the Disrupters in stock, as well.
Estes has sold 20,000 sets of his Disrupters since 1995. He said the response has been excellent when installed correctly with the right acc-ompanying parts -- notched separator bars or the rice spike bar for specialty rotors or the AFX rotor.
The Disrupter was never designed to replace a straw chopper, although it does aid in the separation of the crop, he said.
The original Estes Dis-rupter is available for Case IH combines for $369. The Estes hard faced Scallop Bar sells for $95 each and the Chrome Rice Spike Bars are $18 each. The Disrupter set for the John Deere STS sells for $388.
For more information, contact C M Welding Inc., 4496 N. Co Rd 0 E-W, Frankfort, IN 46041. To speak to Estes, call (765) 258-4024, (765) 891-1722 or visit www.cmweldinginc.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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