Making Chaff Lining Work on Shepherd Grain Farms

John Shepherd is no stranger to integrated weed management. The Virginia farmer already uses cover crops and herbicides to battle weeds on his farm in Nottoway County. So adding chaff lining – the process of funneling chaff (and the weed seeds it contains) into a narrow row behind a combine – was a no-brainer. 

A maze of chaff lining rows follow behind the combine during soybean harvest on Shepherd Grain Farms. (Photo credit: Claudio Rubione, GROW)

Last fall, Shepherd and his combine operator and head mechanic, Grant Coffee, worked with Virginia Cooperative Extension weed specialist Dr. Michael Flessner to build a homemade chaff chute. All they needed was some scrap metal, old conveyor belts, nuts, bolts – and a dash of creativity. After running into some blockage issues, they discovered that the baffle needed a steeper starting angle and by this fall, the chaff lining system was running smoothly. 

In a chaff lining system, the installation of a baffle is key to separating the chaff (bottom) from the straw (top) as they leave the combine. (Photo credit: Claudio Rubione, GROW)

Recently, GROW joined Coffee in the farm’s Case IH 8010 combine, to see how the system worked. Watch the video to see how the chaff chute was developed and how it’s functioning on Shepherd Grain Farms this year: 

For more case studies on do-it-yourself chaff lining chutes, see this version created by another Virginia farmer. See more details on building chaff lining chutes in this GROW video and this chaff lining guide

Video by Claudio Rubione, GROW; text by Emily Unglesbee, GROW