Iowa producer says having a good corn head is crucial for a successful harvest.
While many producers find it difficult to consider purchasing a corn head that isn’t from a major brand, northern Iowa farmer Stewart Ohrtman, said his decision wasn’t all that hard.
“I may not be the first one to jump on a new piece of machinery, but I’ll watch it closely and if I see it is successful, I’ll move on it,” Ohrtman says. “At the time I was looking for a new corn head, I was intrigued with the Drago brand and wanted a cutter head. Others in the area were happy with their Dragos and we had a good dealer nearby.”
Apparently, Ohrtman’s decision to buy a Drago was a good one. Since buying his first Drago in 2005, he has purchased three more since – including a new Drago GT this past year.
“I was very happy with my first Drago and I could see they were continually making improvements with each model,” he says. “And that kept me coming back.”
Referring to his GT, Ohrtman says he likes the non-grease, self-adjusting deck plates, its larger auger, and gears instead of chains. “I got the single-chop that I can shut off if I want to. And there’s a “softness” in the deck plates that cushions ears when they hit that helps preserve grain quality.”
Ohrtman says producers will often ask about Drago. “I tell them I’ve owned Dragos since 2005 and share my experience from the self-adjusting deck plates to the low maintenance. I invite them to ride in the cab with me. This past harvest a neighbor was very impressed with how well the GT did at cutting stocks and told me he would likely consider a Drago next time they were in the market for a corn head.”
Ohrtman believes Drago corn heads are a good value and said there are several considerations when figuring return on investment.
“It’s all about payback,” Ohrtman says. “There’s a lot involved with ROI. Let’s put it this way; grain quality, ease of harvest, maintenance, and resell all join for a successful corn head.
“I can’t say I’ve never had a problem, but what I’ve had has been very limited. Maintenance during harvest is minimal, the GT does a fantastic job of cutting stalks, I’m comfortable with grain quality, we’ve had great support from the dealership, and where I am, access to parts is outstanding.
“That’s all part of the equation.”
And when you consider yield – not having to manually adjust deck plates or think about stalk size – I would say the Drago corn head is operationally friendly.”
Having traded in three Dragos, Ohrtman says they hold their value.
“My experience with resell has been very good. As I drive through the country, I see very few Drago corn heads on dealer lots. Pretty much each of my Drago heads were sold when I traded them in or shortly after. I think there’s a waiting list on these heads and they are very much sought after.”
Rather than purchasing equipment only from major brands, Ohrtman believes having added choices like Drago is an advantage.
“There’s a huge value in having a good corn head. It doesn’t matter if you have the best combine in the world, you need a proper corn head in front of it or you’re not going to get the grain.