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Combine/Baler Combo Cuts, Bales Straw
Custom harvester Col Paton knew there was a big market for straw bales in his area of New South Wales, Australia, but it wasn't economical to harvest it using conventional machines. To solve the problem, he "married up" an old combine and baler so he can now direct-cut stubble and bale it all in a single pass.
Paton used a 1960's era Massey Ferguson combine with a 15-ft. header, connected to a similar vintage MF baler via a rotor chamber that he built. It's powered by the original combine engine and drive train and Paton plans to fit it with a cab this year. He's also hoping to build a machine using a newer model combine and baler if there's enough interest in his service from farmers. He spent more than $40,000 and three months of his time to build the present machine. His biggest problem was finding the combine and baler that would match up best.
In addition to straw, Paton has also used the combine/baler to cut hay at up to 90% moisture in dryland areas where wet-hay bales will dry after baling and notes it could also be used to make haylage or silage bales to be wrapped or covered with plastic.
Paton says the cost of the machine would be hard to justify for an individual farmer so he expects most interest to come from custom harvesters, many of whom now make three trips over stubble fields to mow, rake and bale straw.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Colin Paton, Folliard Cullenbone, via Mudgee 2850, New South Wales, Australia (ph 063 732234).

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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #3