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Hole Maker For Big Roung Bales
Poking holes through the center of large round bales helps them dry faster when dried artifically, indicates new research at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Professor Bob Bledsoe, associate head of the Agricultural Engineering Dept., told FARM SHOW that the drying rate of large bales, when dryed in the university's experimental solar hay dryer, is about twice that of bales that don't have holes.
The machine that pierces the axial holes through the large bales was designed and built at the University. At present it is strictly for experimentation and is not suitable for commercial manufacture for on-farm use, says Bledsoe. "It would cost $3,000 to $5,000 to make and still doesn't produce a hole clear through the bale. The hole must be finished by hand boring."
"A baler manufacturer could manufacture a baler that leaves a hollow cylindrical tunnel through the middle of the big round bale," says Bledsoe. "The tunnel should be 6 to 12 in. diameter."
The center hole in large bales has not aided drying when bales were left in the field to dry naturally, says Bledsoe.
"The goal is to achieve uniform air flow through the bale," says the Tennessee engineer. "Our dryer building is strictly experimental and can dry only 5 large bales at a time. We've designed a larger bale dryer for possible on-farm use, based on what we've learned so far. It will dry 32 bales at a time, and would be a pole-type building with the south wall and all of the shed roof acting as the collector. Heated air comes into the fan room, and one fan will serve four bales. The goal is to dry a set of bales in two days."
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Prof. B. L. Bledsoe, Dept. of Agricultural Engineering, P.O. Box 1071, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn. 37901 (ph 615 974-7237).

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1981 - Volume #5, Issue #1