2008 - Volume #32, Issue #4, Page #18[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Windrow "Fluffer" Speeds Hay Drying
The 10-ft. wide fluffer picks up a wet and matted alfalfa windrow and gently lays it back down in the same place. The resulting "new" windrow is fluffed to nearly double the height of the old one.
The windrow fluffer has no pto or gearboxes. Instead, it relies on specially built tines which revolve slightly slower than the machine's forward movement. The rig's wheels chain-drive a gearbox that controls the speed of the tines and keeps them from turning too fast. As the tines lift the hay up it falls off gently onto the ground.
"It's a fast and economical way of making hay. It works so simple that it's hard to believe," says Sheane. "Two units can be hooked up to a tow dolly, allowing you to fluff two rows at a time and cover up to 32 acres per hour. And it's light enough to be pulled by a pickup or ATV.
"I came up with the idea when I lived in Arizona where they grow a lot of irrigated alfalfa. I decided to build a machine that would let air go through the crop and not necessarily turn it upside down. Several Arizona hay growers are now using my fluffer, as well as one in Oregon."
Another advantage is the cost, says Sheane. "Two fluffers and a towbar sells for $5,500. Other comparable units sell for $10,000 to $12,000 or more," he notes.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ken Sheane, 15615 S.W. Shilo Way, McMinnville, Oregon 97128 (ph 503 857-6554; email@example.com).
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