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They Cut Big Bales Down To Size
"The beauty of our machine is that it offers hay growers the efficiency and convenience of putting up big rectangular bales in summer and the flexibility of being able to offer end-users small rectangular bales in winter," says Don Ast about a big bale saw/compactor his company designed and built.
Ast Hay Co., Aurora, Ore., designed the computerized system for use on Freeman 36 by 48-in. bales and Hesston 32 by 36-in. bales.
It consists of a hydraulically powered, 11-ft. long chain saw mounted in a vertical track. It slices through bales, which are delivered to the cutting chamber from a cart, cutting them twice between strings.
The slabs then enter a compressor where they're typically compacted down to six-tie 16 by 36-in. bales. This large flat bale then enters a slicer box where it's cut lengthwise into a finished product that measures 16 by 18 in. Alfalfa bales weigh between 80 to 100 lbs. with bale density of 14 to 18 lbs.
Designed for high density bales for the export market, a saw and compressor like Ast's can be built for about $450,000. A low-density version that's being developed for the domestic market is expected to run about $150,000 to $175,000.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ast Hay Co., 23283 Hubbard Cutoff Road, Aurora, Ore. 97002 (ph 503 678-5009; fax 2484) or Steffen Systems, 8045 State St., Salem, Ore. 97301 (ph 503 399-9941).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #4