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New straw compacting machines
Two new machines that compact straw for use as fuel are attracting a lot of interest in Britain where straw burning will soon be illegal. Both machines were developed by an ag engineering research center which is negotiating with manufacturers to bring the machines on the market.
One is the new mobile straw wafering machine which was first featured about a year ago in FARM SHOW. The machine has nearly completed it's final testing and should be on the market soon. It's a big rig that uses high pressure created by two giant drums to press chopped straw into small wafers a couple inches across at a rate of about 6 tons per hour. The compressed wafers make transport economical from the farm to industrial users to burn as fuel. The machine picks up straw in the field and feeds it through the wafering drums that are controlled by a pressure sensing roller that adjusts the speed of the drums to the amount of crop flow. As the rollers compress straw they cut off the edges of each wafer so the crop doesn't have to be chopped.
A second machine, also developed at the British engineering institute, uses a different approach to handling straw. The "high density" baler makes bales two to three times as dense as those produced by conventional balers. Key to its success is a new rotary packing mechanism that flattens the tubular structure of the straw as it packs it in thin layers into the bale chamber. Makes conventionally sized small square bales.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, British Society for Research in Ag Engineering, Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedford MK45 4HS England (ph 0525 60000; fax 0525 60156).

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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #5