ROW BY ROW / January 2019
Brothers describe their decision to buy a Drago corn head and what they’ve learned
For many producers, brand loyalty plays a major role in the decision to purchase a new corn head. But producers who do their research – who talk to their trusted neighbors and have watched competitive corn heads at work – learn that a Drago corn head makes a lot of sense when it comes to value and return on investment.
“When we first looked into getting a Drago, we were skeptical,” says Ryan Kohlhagen , who farms 3,400 acres of row crop and hay with his brother Kent, in Indiana. “We had a lot of questions and concerns. Eventually, through conversations and testimonials we decided to buy our first Drago.”
Does what they say and more
“What they claimed and said it would do it has done for us and more,” he says. “The automatic stripper plates work beautifully in our soil type because the stalks and ears vary in size. An operator going through the field could not make adjustments that fast. It totally made sense for us and our operation to capture that corn.”
“More kernels end up in the grain tank rather than in ground by means of the stripper plates because they are adjusting by themselves. And on our GT, they are also cushioning the ear from butt-shelling if it’s too dry. And that’s been a great advantage we had compared to the brand we had in the past.”
“What we like most is the kernel capture and the job it does efficiently in the field and what it’s designed to do as a corn head as far as economics, especially with lower priced corn scenarios. That obviously comes to the top for me.”
It’s going to last longer
“What we’ve also learned about is the durability and longevity of the Drago head. Every component on the Drago head is built to last throughout the season,” says Ryan. “Our soil has a lot of sands and a high-wear factor on equipment, so that’s really paid off for us. With our previous brand, we had to replace the gathering chains every other year. On the Drago, I’ve never had to replace the gathering chains from wearing out. They just last.”
“Compared to other corn heads, the engineering that they’ve implemented on the new GT – especially from a mechanical point of view – totally makes sense as far gear-to-gear spherical drives. It’s more direct drive and it’s going to last longer. Same way applies in the automotive industry – it’s so much more efficient when you can do things that way other than use chains.”
“The corn head does hit the crop first,” Ryan notes. “The Drago not only captures your kernels, we found out it makes an easier job for your combine by bringing in less stalks, less trash and foreign material that your combine is having to manage. Our previous brand brought in a lot of trash – especially under wetter conditions – and the Drago does the job it’s designed to do.”
You need to see a Drago
With their Drago GT working in the field, the Kohlhagen’s find themselves demonstrating the Drago corn head’s features to others. “There are many neighbors who have seen and mentioned the job it performs on the cutting job it does for us and the overall performance of bringing the crop in,” says Kent Kohlhagen.
“We show them how the stripper plates are adjustable with the stalks and how the plates flex up and down to reduce butt-shelling. The amount of trash it brings in – there’s virtually none. it’s all ears. It does an excellent job. We would never go anywhere else because of those key components.
Kent adds that “When we swapped heads, it was night and day difference. If a potential buyer has any questions, they need to demo one or try one or ride with and see what it’s doing. Performance in the field speaks for itself.”
Remember your goal
“Ryan adds that when it comes to changing corn head brands, producers may be reluctant and skeptical – as they were, “but you have to get out to see what the Drago is doing, whether that’s talking to someone who has a Drago or riding one yourself,” he says. “You have to get past what the brand is you’re married to, no matter what that is.”
“You need to remember what your goal is and what you’re trying to accomplish at the end of the day.”