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Modified Swather Makes Tunnel Inside Windrow
"I've got more business than I can handle," says Bob Stewart, the Zillah, Wash., farmerinventor who in 1987 showed FARM SHOW readers his modified swather that windrows hay with a tunnel down the center that cuts hay-drying time by 30 to 75 percent.
Since our original story, Stewart has quit farming and started modifying swathers full time. He modifies shields around the conditioner rollers at the back of the cutterhead. Hay comes off the rollers in a rounded, rain-shedding windrow that's got a 6-in. dia. tunnel at its center.
"I've had windrows rained on for 9 straight days in a row that were fine for baling with no mold or mildew. It takes the worry out of rain," says Stewart, who says that since the original FARM SHOW story he's heard of farmers who started making tunnels behind swathers by simply dragging a piece of PVC pipe behind the machine and depositing the windrow on top of it. Stewart stresses that his modifications become a permanent part of the machine. In addition to the tunnel-making apparatus, he makes 9 other major alterations to the machine that he says "totally eliminates chunks and slugs" of hay caused by feeding problems. Other modifications include installation of extra bats in the reel, a reel slow-down kit, speed-up kits for the cutterbar and feeder auger, and installation of a double-bladed sickle bar.
"If you feed hay more smoothly into the machine, you get less slugs in the windrow. The more even the windrow, the faster it dries," notes Stewart. "It's unbelievable how much faster and easier this machine moves through even the heaviest hay crop."
Stewart charges about $4,850 to modify any New Holland self-propelled machine.He also sound-proofs New Holland cabs. At this time he's not interested in working on machines from other manufacturers.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, B & L Enterprise, 2422 Blaine Road, Zillah, Wash. 98953 (ph 509 829-5783).

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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #3