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Home-Built Swath Turner
"It turns hay like a moldboard plow turns sod," says Andy Murdoch, Eckville, Alta., inventor of a swath turner that he uses to speed hay drying.
It uses a pickup reel salvaged from an old baler. The pickup feeds windrows to two cone-shaped rollers that, in turn, feed the hay to a smooth moldboard-shaped deflector which does the actual turning.
"We read a story in FARM SHOW several years ago about a windrow turner built at the University of Tennessee. I felt I could build a simpler one for my own use and I've discovered that a swath turner is much easier on leaves than a rake and does just as quick a job. When you're still a day or so away from baling, you can often flip the windrow in the morning and be able to bale later that same day. It helps to get an even curing job that improves the quality of the hay," explains
Murdoch, noting that, "We also use it to salvage crops that get rained on."
The key to the swath turner is that it doesn't mix up the hay. The drums spin at a rate 1/3 faster than the reel, tossing the windrow up onto the deflector on the back, which flips the windrow over. The two cones are driven by hydraulic orbit motors but Murdoch says they could also be chain-driven. The windrow turner can also be pulled behind a round baler with the chamber open, using the baler pickup to pick up the hay and feed it to the trailing turner in place of its own pickup reel. The turner moves the windrow over the distance of about the width of one windrow.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Andy Murdoch, Rt. 3, Eckville, Alta. T0M 0X0 (ph 403 746-5702).

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #6