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Self-Fueling Forage Harvester
Jason Force says his Iron Goat forage harvester is ready to head to the field. The self-propelled, self-fueling machine has been upgraded and refined since Force first introduced it to FARM SHOW readers (Vol. 38, No. 5). The first-of-its-kind machine dries and pelletizes forage on-the-go and then burns a percentage of the pellets to power itself.
  Force’s Iron Goat harvests plant materials and uses engine heat to dry them. They’re then pelletized and gasified to fuel the engine, with the excess off-loaded periodically for future use as feed or fuel.
  The autonomous system can be programmed for labor-free harvest as well as for selective harvest. In addition to computer-guided travel around the field, Force has equipped the machine with stereo hyperspectral machine vision. It can recognize and target certain species or avoid areas such as nesting birds.
  The new, more powerful Iron Goat is designed to cover about 500 acres, slowly munching its way across fields. “We believe it would fit the bulk of farms in the eastern U.S.,” says Force. “While farms traditionally have gone with larger equipment to cover more acres with less labor, the Iron Goat has no labor requirement, low service needs and can operate in any weather.”
  Force is currently developing financial support needed to enter production. “We’ve had enough interest that we plan to demonstrate units in the field in the latter half of 2016,” he says.
  Initial plans for the Iron Goat are to do customer harvesting with machines. This will allow the company to further refine the technology, while avoiding the need to train salespeople in a new and novel process.
  “For the first 3 years or so, we will simply show up and pelletize or cube for $80 per ton,” says Force. “In some areas of the country, the climate gives us a distinct edge over other custom harvesting systems.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Iron Goat Technologies, 5624 Old Clifton Rd., Clifton, Va. 20124 (ph 703 217-2027; jforce@irongoattech.com; www.irongoattech.com).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #2