2013 - Volume #37, Issue #2, Page #09[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Modified Bale Feeder Makes Great Rebaler
Beem built a conveyor table using a former manure spreader bed chain to take the large bales into the bale feeder, which he modified by replacing the knife sections with square paddles and welded keystock to pick the hay apart instead of cutting it.
The hay falls onto a conveyor that Beem made from an old potato conveyor belt that he widened. Before the hay goes into the small square baler, it’s leveled by beaters made out of pvc pipe to keep an even flow.
“The biggest challenge was that a lot of chaff comes off the bales when they are taken apart. We had to stop and shovel it out (from under the conveyor),” Beem says. He resolved the problem by adding another conveyor underneath that carries the chaff to a pile where it can be loaded and fed to his chickens or mixed with manure for compost.
The whole setup runs off one tractor equipped with a 30 gpm hydraulic system with a 25-gal. reservoir to keep it running cool.
“It bales just as fast as baling hay in the field,” Beem says. “Recently, we baled 606 squares from 9 a.m. to noon.”
He’s made about 20,000 small square bales each year for the past 5 years, and he expects to use the rebaler setup for many more years. While livestock farmers prefer big round and square bales, they are not practical for many customers.
“There’s a whole group of people where all they can use is the small square bale. It’s the only thing they can handle,” Beem says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gary Beem, 151 Oxbow Rd., Palmyra, Maine 04965 (ph 207 944-4669; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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