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Another Job For Round Balers
Implement dealers around Immokalee, Florida, ordinarily don't sell more than one or two round balers each year but last summer, one local dealer came up with a new use for round balers that resulted in the sale of 10 balers. Farmers are using the hay balers to pick up plastic mulch.
The Immokalee area is a major producer of various vegetable crops, many of which are mulched with wide strips of plastic. Gathering up the plastic by hand costs around $50 per acre and requires lots of labor. The problem prompted Bob Jacobson, Florida Tractor Co., in Immokalee, to come up with a modification for Owatonna round balers that equips them to pick up plastic and bale it.
The modification simply requires raising the pickup headabout 3 in. so it won't dig into the ground as it picks up the plastic, and fastening thick 2-in. strips of plastic sheeting to the reel so it won't tangle up. The modifications cost about $250 and the baler can easily be reconverted to handle hay. Jacobson told FARM SHOW that the idea only works on closed chamber roller balers like the Owatonna and Claas Balers.
Using a round baler to pick up plastic mulch cuts the cost to $9.00 an acre and the baler can do about 8 acres per day. A separate trip through the field is necessary before the baler runs through to lift the edges of the plastic out of the dirt.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Florida Tractor Co., P.O. Box 190, Immokalee, Fla. 33934 (ph 813 657-2080).

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #4