Chet and Dan Eyer from Anchor, IL, were among the first in line to buy a Case IH Axial-Flow combine when it was introduced in 1977. “We wanted something different than a straw walker combine,” says Chet, who recently spoke at the Case IH 30th Anniversary event at the company's Grand Island, NE, manufacturing plant.

The Eyers say the combine's single-rotor design makes it easier to operate, more reliable, and less costly to maintain than straw walker combines or combines with more complex rotary designs. They report it is gentler on the grain and produces more whole kernels, fewer cracks and substantially less foreign material.

Case IH has updated the Axial-Flow rotor six times since its introduction to improve performance. The most recent update was in 2003, when the impeller blades in front were reconfigured to allow for smoother crop flow, according to Jim Lucas, project lead engineer for Case IH combines. He says a smoother crop flow results in better grain threshing and separating and takes less power.

All 2007 model Case IH Axial-Flow combines will carry a 30th anniversary decal on the grain tank. “As we embark on 2007 models, we have built 126,000 Axial-Flow combines up to this point,” says Sam Acker, Case IH cash crop customer marketing. “Many of those are still in the field running today.”