1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3, Page #24[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
First-Of-Its-King Baler Also Wraps In Plastic
The company, Gjerstad Agma, says its prototype machine - called the "BalerWrapper" - has been looked at by a number of major manufacturers. The company has built its first working prototype and obtained a patent. Now it's looking for a company to build and market the new-style machine.
Silage bales have caught on big time in Europe over the past 10 years and the practice is spreading rapidly in North America. At the current time, it generally takes two machines and two tractors to make a tightly wrapped silage bale.
Norwegian inventor Jens Oistad's goal was to combine baling and wrapping in one machine. His solution was to divide the roller-type bale chamber into two sections. The upper 11 bale forming rollers are mounted in a frame which is lifted up by hydraulic cylinders. When the machine is set to the "baling" position, the upper section is fixed rigidly to the bottom section of rollers to create a normal circular bale-forming chamber. Once the bale is made, it is tied with twine.
Next, instead of ejecting the bale as normal, the upper part of the chamber is lifted up and the wrapping unit moves into place. The lower section of rollers becomes the wrapping turntable. Two rolls of plastic pivot around the bale as it's rotated by the rollers so that the whole bale, including the ends, is tightly wrapped.
To eject the bale, the lower section of rollers drops down hydraulically, laying the bale gently onto the field so that the plastic does not get punctured.
Oistad says the single machine will cost much less than buying both a baler and wrapper and that by wrapping the bale instantly, you stop any fermentation that might start in the unwrapped bale as it sits in the field waiting to be wrapped.
New Holland, Claas and Deere have expressed interest in the machine. Oistad hopes to have a machine on the market in two years. (Reprinted from Profi International, Goblands Farm, Court Lane, Hadlow, Tonbridge, Kent TN 11 OEB United Kingdom)
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