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A Traveling Tub Grinder Saves Stalks For Feed
A traveling tub grinder built by Curry Farms, Atkinson, Neb., harvests cornstalks, husks, and cobs left in the field by the combine, turning the residue into low-cost feed for beef cows.
The super grinder picks up combine refuse where it's dumped by the combine between two out of every eight rows, also harvesting the stalks in the two rows as it works. It'll salvage about a ton of feed per acre, grinding the material and blowing it into trailing wagons. The material is stacked near the feedlot and mixed with ammonia and water to make a 10 to 12% protein feed.
Elmer Borer, who manages Curry Farms, says it's cheaper to pick up and grind in the field rather than haul refuse back and grind it in a separate operation. Since there was no machine on the market to do the job, they built one from the ground up.
The machine has a 5-ft. wide flail pickup that comes off a small Deere stacker machine. Refuse is booted up a conveyor chute and into the grinder tub. The tub comes from a Farmhand grinder, and the grinding cornponents from a WHO Manufacturing in Colorado. After grinding, material is dumped onto a small conveyor belt that carries it to a Deere 38 chopperblower mounted in back. The blower throws the material into trailing forage wagons.
All components are mounted on a trailer. Powered entirely by the pto (Borer uses a minimum 275 hp. tractor), the grinder is belt-driven except for the tub which rotates hydraulically. Copper coils on the trailer hitch cool oil in the grinder gearbox, which heats up more than under normal use.
"If conditions are wet, we have to go pretty slow because it's hard going," says Borer, noting that the traveling grinder has been in use for three years, harvesting about 500 acres a year. It'll gather about a ton of material off each acre. The machine is used through the fall and as long as possible into winter.
Borer says the ground-up residue is mixed half and half with corn silage and fed to cattle during summer months, or used as a back-up feed in the winter. Curry Farms recently sold their cattle herd so Borer would like to sell the machine. It costs about $12,000 to build.
For more information, con-tact: FARM SHOW Followup, Elmer Borer, Curry Farms, Atkinson, Neb. 68713 (ph 402 925-2334).

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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #5