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Adding Hot Water Makes Better Bales
Harvest Tec is making better bales by treating over-dry alfalfa with hot water under pressure. The new system is an update on their original Dew Simulator (Vol. 27, No. 2) for arid hay producers introduced 16 years ago. It injected a cold-water mist with a softening agent into windrows to reduce leaf shatter and loss.
“Our original system still works, but the introduction of steam injection by a competitor raised the bar,” admits Bryant Henningfeld, Harvest Tec. “However, we avoided the complication of on-board boilers by developing a system that uses water heated under pressure to 240 degrees instead of steam.”
Henningfeld emphasizes that both steam and the pressurized hot water do a good job of softening the hay evenly. The Dew Simulator is designed to rehydrate alfalfa windrows from as low as 6 percent moisture back to 14 to 16 percent. It injects its moisture in a separate trip ahead of the baler.
“We feel our system offers more flexibility for those operations that prefer other types or multiple types of balers,” says Henningfeld. “In highly evaporative conditions, the baler may follow right behind the Dew Simulator. If possible, we recommend baling 10 to 15 min. later for maximum penetration.”
As with their original machine, a wing-mounted reel is equipped with 65 18-in. long tines on 5-in. spacing (85 tines is an option.) The tines deliver the pressurized, heated water and softener to the underside of windrows, releasing it upward into the hay.
The main chassis of the Dew Simulator carries the pto-driven water pump and 2 in-series, diesel-fueled water heaters. Water is pumped from a trailing water tank (not included) through the heaters to the reel. Harvest Tec recommends a minimum tractor size of 70 hp., such as typically used for raking.
Suggested list price for the new Dew Simulator is $67,000. Based on improved quality and added weight from increasing moisture 4 percent, harvest value is projected to increase by $14,400 per 1,000 tons of alfalfa.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Harvest Tec, P.O. Box 63, Hudson, Wis. 54016 (ph 800 635-7468; info@harvesttec.com; www.harvesttec.com).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #1