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ARRO™ head conversion for corn heads to harvest Sorghum

10 Sep 2023
“Necessity is the mother of invention” for these Kansas agri-businessmen. image
For Kyle Kopper, Manager of Kopper Family Farms, Cimarron, KS and Randy Burns, Custom Harvester, the old adage rings true:  “Necessity is the mother of invention”.   With the 2015 decrease in commodity prices and an increase in milo production, Kyle Kopper wanted lower machinery cost and more consistent residue management for his no-till crop rotation of corn, wheat and milo.  Meanwhile, Randy was frustrated with the high maintenance cost of their existing row crop headers and the poor performance in lodged milo.  At the same time, Alan VanNahmen, Farm Buddy Company needed an improved header for cellulosic ethanol crop harvesting with the Glenvar Bale Direct System®.   The trio of innovative southwest Kansas agri-businessmen have teamed up to design, build, patent and distribute their ARRO™ – Alternate Rotary Rowcrop Option which can be retro-fitted to existing OEM corn heads.  
Development process
During the 2015 sorghum harvest, Kopper Family Farms compared several other milo harvesting heads, but were frustrated with performance short comings and overall cost.  They needed the reliability and performance features comparable to their existing corn heads.  They just had to figure out a way to convert a standard corn head to harvest sorghum.  After removing the existing stalk rolls, the “Kopper Kutter” team of Farmers, Harvesters and Engineers sketched up, fabricated and installed four different prototype cutting systems on multiple row units of one of their existing John Deere 612C Corn heads.  The crew and harvest hands made several trials and field test runs between the Kopper Family Farm shop and their nearby, mile long dryland milo fields.  Subsequently, after several changes and refinements, they achieved a very simple and reliable, cost effective, dual disc cutter design that can retro-fitted onto late model corn heads.  During the winter of 2015 – 2016 Kyle, Randy and Alan pooled some financing, formed the Kopper Kutter LLC business and began working with other Kansas ag manufacturers to refine and build more of their cleverly trademarked, “ARRO” conversion kits for more makes and models.  Kopper Kutter LLC also built durability test and demo test stands in their shop.  Alan VanNahmen, Principal also filed Provisional Patent Application to the US Patent Office in December 2015.  He also began the Trademark application for ARRO – as the Alternate Rotary Rowcrop Option for converting corn heads to harvest sorghum, sunflowers and cellulose, etc.   
Fall 2016 Harvest Validations 
More Kopper Kutter LLC ARRO (tm) head conversion kits have been installed on area farmers 12 and 16 row versions of John Deere and CaseIH corn headers. They are being used extensively and successfully for improved Sorghum and Sunflower harvesting in various areas.  The ARRO heads have also been used in some corn harvest operations, which helps take excessive corn stover off the field prior to double crop fall seeding of winter wheat.  Similar opportunity exist to use the ARRO head for efficient collection of clean corn stover material for cellulosic ethanol plants via the patented Glenvar Bale Direct System. 
Future Plans
Kopper Kutter ARRO kits will become available for a broader line of corn head makes and models for 2017. Distribution within the High Plains Sorghum and Sunflower growing areas of the US is being arranged via Shield Ag, based in Hutchinson, KS. We will be offering the patent pending ARRO configurations to major manufacturer(s) 
so the convenience and reliability of ARRO cutting system can be integrated into OEM production headers in the future.  Kopper Kutter LLC also suggest your support for our CHIS- Combine Header Interface Standardization as described in ASABE Proposal 05-5008.   Also, we appreciate your questions, recommendations and business. 
Kopper Kutter ARRO™ head availability and pricing considerations Good, used late model corn heads, with worn out stalk rolls, trash knives and worn deck plates can be acquired for about 1/3 the cost of a new row crop head. ARRO™ retrofit kits cost about $1,000 per row unit for 2017. Conversion and initial installation takes about two man-hours per row unit depending on model.  
Shield Agricultural Equipment of Hutchinson, KS will be the authorized Distributor for the ARRO kits throughout the Midwest for 2017. Kopper Kutter LLC was recently notified that their Patent Pending ARRO™ design has won an American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) distinguished Ag Engineering Top 50 award.  The ASABE AE-50 Award will be presented to Kopper Kutter LLC at the Ag Equipment Technology Conference in Louisville in Feb 2017.  Area farmers are also welcome to learn more about the Kopper Kutter LLC ARRO head at their field demonstration and open house will be held on Monday 14 Nov. 2016 along Hwy 23four miles north of Cimarron, KS.  ARRO (Alternate Rotary Rowcrop Option) is a trademark of Kopper Kutter LLC.    ARRO head conversion design is Patent Pending.   If you copy it, will cut your milo heads off!! 
Kopper Kutter LLC. / (620) 855-2988 /



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