Combine Fires Events Under Hot Dry Harvest Conditions!

An ongoing problem for sunflower producers in the Dakota’s is the concern of
combine fires during harvest. Numerous farmers have lost both combines and crops to fires started
during the harvesting process. The most recent harvest season produced a large outbreak of fires
during soybean harvest in the Upper Midwest. Working with equipment dealerships, producers, state
fire marshals, and climatologists, data are being aggregated regarding what regions of the Midwest
experienced an outbreak of combine fires during the 2011 harvest season. Weather and crop
conditions at the time of the fires will be examined. Total numbers of combine fires will be estimated
from sample data, as will the total amount of damage sustained due to these fires. This research
may help identify mechanisms leading to combine fires and may lead to modifications in both
practices and machines with the goal of limiting the risk of fires during harvest

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