1977 - Volume #1, Issue #2, Page #25[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
New Way To Make HayAbout 50 new Agropack machines that roll long hay into mini rolls are slated for commercial production this year, according to Joseph Molitorisz, inventor and developer of this new way to make hay.
“The Agropack is neither a baler nor a cuber,” he points out. “It’s a combination of other hay packaging methods. It works with long-hay (like baling) but makes small high-density rolls without wire or twine (like cubing). It tolerates a much wider moisture range than baling or cubing, and a wider variety of crops. You can form compact rolls from practically all types of hay at 20 to 70% moisture,” according to Molitorisz.
He notes that the rolling-pressing concept is based on the natural tendency of most forage crops to wrap tightly around rotating shafts. Mini-rolls produced by the Agropack machine are cylindrical, ranging from 5 to 7 in. in dia. and 4 to 7 in. in length. Density of the rolls can be set between 20 and 50 lbs. per cu. ft., depending on condition of the crop. Optimum density is between 35 and 45 lbs. Stems of hay rolled into mini rolls remain long. “The interlocking and overlapping of the stems, together with the natural adhesives they contain, provide durability for the mini rolls, making them adaptable to mechanized bulk handling, such as dumping or conveying,” Molitorisz points out.
He feels his new method of making hay has been perfected and is “ready to roll” on irrigated land in lower humidity areas. “Because hay doesn’t have to be cured as long in the field, it can be processed with the Agropack 24 hours after it’s cut,” says Molitorisz.
In the Midwest, high humidity has caused problems in being able to preserve the processed mini rolls. “We’re evaluating the use of chemical preservatives and trying several other promising alternatives,” he explains. “I’m confident that, when all the research results are in, we’ll be able to market the Agropack in areas now restricted because of high humidity.”
In dryer climates, mini rols can be stored in piles, in corn-crib like structures, or sheds. Although a wide variety of hay can be processed, the Agropack isn’t being recommended for cornstalks or straw.
Feeding tests have shown good animal acceptance of the mini rolls. The wrapped layers are easily unrolled by cattle, horses or sheep, says Molitorisz.
He notes that hay is generally ready to process when you can twist it into a rope, and then be able to bend the rope several times without breaking the stems. It’s recommended that the hay be crimped or conditioned as it’s cut and windrowed.
Current factory price of the Agropack machine is $12,500. For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Agropack, Box 129, Bedina, Wash. 98039 (ph 206 455-1823).
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