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New Holland maize header with Stalkbuster eliminates corn borer pest while harvesting

​• A simple, effective solution that eliminates the pest at harvest
• Cost-effective, pesticide-free and environmentally friendly

New Holland Agriculture is introducing a new 8-row maize header with the award-winning Stalkbuster, the ground-breaking solution for controlling the corn borer without pesticides or biological plant protection agents.

“The corn borer has become a serious issue in corn growing regions,” explains Stephanie Heylen, Global Product Manager Self-Propelled Forage Harvesters and Headers. “This pest can cause significant yield losses, which can be as high as 50% and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that the borer caterpillar destroys four percent of corn harvests globally. Our new maize header with the integrated Stalkbuster provides an effective solution that benefits both our customers’ profitability and the environment.”

A simple, effective solution that eliminates the pest at harvest
The borer caterpillars damages corn by chewing tunnels through many parts of the plant, restricting the water and nutrient supply, and making the stems easy to snap. This can result in significant harvest losses, diseases such as the common corn smut, and fusarium infections which can also affect subsequent crops.

New Holland, working with our supplier Kemper, has developed the new maize header with Stalkbuster to offer its customers a solution that eliminates the corn borer pest during harvest. While harvesting, the Stalkbuster, which is integrated into the base frame of the rotary 8-row corn header, breaks up the stubble before it can be flattened by the wheels of the self-propelled harvester.

The Stalkbuster – winner of the Agritechnica Gold Medal– consists of a swinging gearbox with integrated ratchet clutch that swings the specially shaped Buster flail, which breaks up every row of stubble individually. The special swinging gearbox ensures optimum ground adjustment for every single row. A pneumatic pressure system provides for additional soft tracking of ground contours. The flail is made of highly wear-resistant material, guaranteeing a long service life. If necessary, it can be quickly replaced without special tools due to the polygon gearing. A freewheel ensures a soft runout off the buster flail. If the self-propelled forage harvester needs to reverse, the Stalkbuster units are automatically lifted when the drive lever is actioned, preventing damage.

The stubble is smashed into small pieces down to the ground, destroying the overwintering habitat for the corn borer and reducing the fusarium risk. A further advantage is that there are no obstacles from bulky harvest residue for the following tillage operations.

Cost-effective, pesticide-free and environmentally friendly
The pest control methods used to control the corn borer rely either on pesticides and biological agents, or mulching. The first method requires purchasing plant protection agents and the use of sprayers to apply them, adding to the costs and complexity of the operation. With mulching, the stubble pressed down by the forage harvester chain cannot be reached, reducing the effectiveness of the method.

The New Holland maize header with Stalkbuster provides a solution that avoids the costs and complications – and the environmental impact – of applying pest control agents and deals with all of the stubble before it can be flattened.

In addition, the Stalkbuster’s power consumption is remarkably low, as it only requires 4 hp per row thanks to the direct drive and optimum ground adjustment of the individual units. Overall, in areas affected by the corn borer, the New Holland maize header with Stalkbuster can deliver savings of around 84€ per hectare compared to best alternative solution, mulching.

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