Row By Row / November 2019

Why I bought a Drago (again). Repeat purchase confirms Drago corn head quality.

If there’s better testimony than a producer buying his first Drago corn head, it’s when a producer buys his second Drago corn head.

And according to Hancock County Iowa farmer Mark Hiscocks…the decision was easy.

“My first Drago corn head was a 2007 Series I,” Hiscocks says. “I was at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville in 2006. We were changing our planter row size and I wanted a chopping corn head – there weren’t many brands with chopping heads at that time.”

Met All Expectations

“I was standing in the Case IH exhibit when I met Denny Bollig (farmer and Dragotec president), and he introduced me to Drago.”

A former farm machinery mechanic, Hiscocks said he could see the quality of the Drago corn head. “It looked well-built and I liked its features, including the self-adjusting deck plates and gathering chains. So we bought one.”

Hiscocks says the Drago corn head lived up to everything he was looking for at that time.

“The first day we ran it, I had to open the throttle to make sure it was running. It was just so smooth and didn’t need to run as fast as our previous brand,” he remembers. “It was reliable and durable, too. The gathering chains and tensioning sprockets are so much better made. With our previous corn head brand, we replaced gathering chains every three years. In the nine years we owned our Series I, we never replaced the chains once.”

“And there was definitely less butt-shelling loss at the head. We’ll grow 100-day corn so it’s dry at harvest. It’s definitely better at capturing yield. The self-adjusting deck plates are a no-brainer.”

Time To Upgrade

By fall of 2015 – after nine years of running his Series I – Hiscocks said he was thinking of upgrading his corn head. “What I really wanted was a Drago corn head that could chop stalks even finer. With our heavy soils, we need stalk residue to break down as fast as possible. So I called Drago about wanting a different chopper and was told to wait a couple weeks for an announcement.

“They told me, ‘We think you’ll be happy,’ and that’s when they introduced the Drago GT with Twin-Chop. I would have waited another year for it. I was one of the first to buy a 2016 Drago GT.”

“The Twin-Chop option on the GT does an awesome job on sizing residue. When I’m field cultivating and lift the cultivator at the end of the field, there’s no pile of trash – no corn wrapped around shanks – it’s all sized up and flowed through.”

Hiscocks says the self-adjusting deck plates are one less thing to worry about while harvesting. “Our farm has some sandy knolls and we get some little nubbins in those areas. We know we’re doing the best job getting through those sandy spots and harvesting all the corn we can.”

A Step Above Anything Else

“And with QuadSuspension, we’ll do anything we can to keep ears from bouncing or butt shelling. That’s just one of those things that makes this new head one step above anything else.”

“Drago is known for its ability to pick up and harvest downed corn,” he says. “We wouldn’t buy a corn head just for downed corn, but when it’s there, you want something that will work.”

When it was time to choose another corn head, Hiscocks said there was “no reason to change brands.”

“The last thing I want to do is fight with a corn head,” he says. “Drago just works. If it’s spitting rain, it keeps going. Doesn’t bunch up. Snow? Always feeds in and keeps going.”

“I have a great dealer and I know they have a parts inventory, but I haven’t really needed them.”

“The most important piece of equipment you can own is the planter,” Hiscocks says. “You’ve got to get the seed in the ground and do the best job you can getting it planted. The planter can make you good money.”

“The second most important piece of equipment is the corn head. It doesn’t matter what you’ve got behind the corn head – any combine will combine the corn – you’ve got to get it into the machine.”