2009 - Volume #33, Issue #3, Page #30[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Two-Bale Processor Blends Feed On-The-Go
"People get real excited about the ability to blend forages and change blends on-the-go," says R. C. Patterson of RCMR, Inc. "We introduced a square bale unit a decade ago and realized nobody was doing it with round bales because we had the patent."
With customers asking for a unit, Patterson got busy. After three years of development, the round bale unit was ready. While their earlier square bale unit had a full set of options including scales and grain supplement bins, the round bale unit is relatively simple. It has two feeding units, a rack for a third bale and a grapple to fill them.
"The one extra we put on the trailer is the grapple. People like being able to pick up different size loads from the ground or a stack. They can operate it all from the tractor seat," says Patterson.
He says customers like the fact that they can put a bale of alfalfa in one unit, low quality roughage in a second, and a third on the rack.
"One customer noted that with other processors, if a bale jams, you have to fork it out by hand," says Patterson. "With the grapple, if there is a problem, they can pluck the bale out and reposition it."
He adds that some use the grapple to rest a fourth bale on the bale in the rack. The company is considering adding a cart that could trail behind with another three to six bales.
"The processor layers everything in a windrow, and the cattle come up and eat everything in front of them," he says. "It doesn't matter if you put the high quality hay on top or on the bottom."
"We come from the ranching business and understand the value in blending roughages," says Patterson. "Wheat straw, milo or corn stalks don't have the nutritional value needed, while alfalfa has the protein, but not enough dry matter."
He adds that chopping forages to get the right particle size has a 20 to 25 percent impact on feed efficiency. Blending the forages adds another 23 to 30 percent improvement. His machine does both.
"If you can cut your feed bill by 20 to 50 percent, it's the biggest thing you can do to improve most ranching operations," says Patterson. "The hardest thing to do is feed the herd through the winter without breaking the bank. This tool is the missing piece of that puzzle."
The round bale processor has an introductory price of $19,988 for the three-bale unit without grapple. The grapple with joystick control adds $8,746.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, RCMR Inc., P.O. Box 140, Kim, Colorado 81049 (ph 800 242-9599; fax 719 643-5275; ezration @ezration.com; www.ezration.com).
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