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Improvements Made To Mini Thresher
Orville Hillis is nearing completion of his second wooden mini threshing machine, which was first featured in FARM SHOW several years ago (Vol. 29, No. 6). He built it to thresh Amaranth and other small grains.
"I attended an Amaranth conference and met people from all over the world," says Hillis, of Charles City, Iowa. "People in Africa were interested in it." They also grow Amaranth, a high protein grain ground into flour or popped like popcorn. In 2005, he took it to a Missouri farm show and had a lot of interest from people in the states.
Hillis's goal is to build something that could sell for about $2,500 that a village or cooperative could purchase for people to rent or use. Small equipment used by university researchers costs about twice as much.
The first machine threshed about two bushels/hour and Hillis hopes to improve on that. Instead of running it off a pto, the new machine can run off a 5 hp gas engine. He also upgraded the wood stove fan from his first machine with a paddle fan, similar to those on old combines. The new machine has three cylinders instead of two and a straw walker that moves the straw out with a screen below for grain to drop through into a container. The thresher will be mounted on wheels.
With different screens, the thresher can be customized for a variety of grains, and Hillis notes that members of seed savers organizations are also interested in his machine.
Hillis works on the thresher in his spare time and hopes to find grants and manufacturers to produce it. He welcomes calls or emails from anyone interested in learning more.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Orville Hillis, 3020 220th St., Charles City, Iowa 50616 (ph 641 228-4860; fludzone@fiai.net).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #4