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Unique service reaches clients worldwide Bish Enterprises in Giltner, Nebraska may be agricultural alchemists, striving to create excellence from ordinary materials. They certainly seem to have a penchant for making the impossible happen.
The business started in 1974, when Harvey Bish assembled a John DeereTM combine with a MasseyTM head.
"People said, ‘It’s not possible. You can’t make it happen.’ And he made it happen,” Zach Fuller said. Fuller is manager of sales, advertising and website development.
They now specialize in optimizing harvest equipment by combining the most efficient pieces from different models, primarily combining John Deere heads with CaseTM combines.
“Our big thing is to try new things that people are scared of,” Fuller said.
Bish developed an 18-row header for corn at a customer’s request, for example, when John Deere didn’t develop one. Because they specialize in custom builds, Bish’s products reach farmers from Canada to Australia. They also create custom heads for SyngentaTM and MonsantoTM, since those companies need special equipment for their test plots.
Bish is the only company that is constantly making soybean heads, Fuller said. They also specialize in sunflower and milo harvesting, with a particular focus on the latter.
Fuller said that Bish believes milo may be the next “big thing” because it is low-maintenance and tolerant to storm and drought. For these reasons, it is becoming very popular in Kansas.
A client from Inman, Kansas approached Bish with specific needs for a custom head, a head that can handle a hardy crop like milo. Now Bish manufactures a product with the same namesake. The Inman head was specifically designed to meet the growing demand. The model was named after the first client who requested it (who lives in Inman, Kansas).
“We’re looking for a niche in the market— we do a lot of head builds but we don’t do our own thing,” Fuller said. “Our biggest thing is that now we have our own place in the market.”
It was made to harvest “down milo,” or the crops that have fallen down on themselves as they grow, with adjustable row units to harvest from underneath. However, since it is adjustable, it can also harvest “up milo.”
“Our first test on up milo was 145 bushels. In down milo, 154. That’s only 9 bushels off. Usually it’s half, if not more, because you’re losing time,” Fuller said.
The Inman simplifies the harvesting process by allowing farmers to continue their speed while not losing yield. In addition, Bish’s price point is half or one-third of the average price.
When the Inman header was tested in Kansas, farmers were amazed, Fuller said.
“Farmers don’t believe what you have to say until they see it for themselves, and we kept hearing stuff like, ‘Wow this is amazing,’ from them,” he said.
As effective as it is with milo harvesting, the header can also be used for sunflowers, corn and popcorn. Bish is also continuing to test and develop the Inman to further increase its usefulness in the farming community.
“We like to help people,” Fuller said. “We’re not out to get the most money out of people. We want to get equipment that works. We want to give people quality products for a good deal.”
For more information, visit bishenterprises.com.
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