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Round Bale Dryer
"It lets us harvest hay in big bales at 50% moisture," says Italian manufacturer Vigilio Mich, inventor of a new round bale drying platform.
The ability to harvest hay with high moisture content is especially important in Europe due to wide spread wet conditions. Mich says the new hay dryer lets farmers harvest anytime and obtain higher protein levels because of minimal leaf loss. It also allows farmers to take an extra hay cutting per season.
The drying system consists of a heavy concrete platform positioned about 8 in. off the ground. The concrete is covered with three rows of large diameter holes screened over with heavy wire netting. You simply place the just-harvested bales directly over the holes in the platform. Once they're all covered, a dryer blows hot air up through the bales from up under the platform. Any kind of dryer furnace with a large capacity air flow can be used.
Key to success is the size of the hole and the placing of a cover over the top of the bales. "To get the proper air flow out the sides of the bale it's important that the edge of the bale not overlap more than about 6 in. on the edge of the platform. After about 20 hrs. drying, you should place a cover - made out of plastic or plywood - over the top of the bale to force air back down through the bales and out the upper sides. Total drying time for 50% moisture bales is about 40 hrs.," says Mich.
He says hard core bales work best with the dryer because air flows more evenly through them. The dryer platform can be made to any size, depending on capacity of dryer. Mich sells a 24-bale dryer, complete with dryer furnace, for about $7,000.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Vigilio Mich, Wild Mfg., Via Garda 16, 38070 Sarche, Italy. (ph 0461 564274).

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #3