2023 - Volume #47, Issue #1, Page #26[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Artificial Dew Keeps Hay Quality High
A pre-baling pass over forage windrows delivers a precise amount of heated water into the crop, making the hay softer plus increasing its weight, similar to natural dew.
The 720 preheats water to 240 F with two in-series diesel fuel water heaters delivering 750,000 Btu each, raising the temperature 180 degrees at 18 gals. per min. Water is drawn from a towed tank using a pto-driven 1,000 rpm pump supplying 15 gals. per min. at 750 psi.
“Using high pressure, we apply a heated mist at anywhere from 8 to 20 gals. per min. depending on the windrow, ambient temperature, wind, humidity, and other factors influencing evaporation,” says Bryant Henningfeld, Harvest Tec Sales Manager. “There also might be some residual moisture left in the windrow that affects how much water we need to apply.”
He says the key feature of the unit is how 20 and 40-micron water droplets are precisely injected without damaging the leaves or unnecessarily stirring up the windrow. The 250 to 500 psi spray is introduced through 65 ground-driven tines entering and exiting the windrow vertically to minimize crop disturbance. A cam reel system opens the water valves only when the tines are inside the windrow and closes them as they exit to conserve water.
“The tines reach about 4 in. above the ground, so the high-pressure mist is saturating the entire windrow,” Henningfeld says. “Plus, it adds extra moisture for the soil at such a high pressure.”
The system is computer-based and uses a combination of input and output sensors and a water flow meter. Using a touchscreen inside the tractor cab, the operator can make fingertip adjustments on the amounts of water and number of diesel heaters running.
“Automation is mainly for heat control, with the operator, either from experience or from talking with the baler driver, making adjustments on the flow of water,” Henningfeld says. “The heat increases the softening effect. We want to soften the leaves quickly for the baler to follow close behind and retain them.”
The 720 Dew Simulators are manufactured in Hudson, Wis., and are sold throughout North America, Mexico, China, Australia and South Africa.
Units retail between $80,000 and $90,000 plus S&H depending on options.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bryant Henningfeld, Harvest Tec, 2821 Harvey Street, Hudson, Wis. 54016 (ph 800-635-7468; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.harvesttec.com).
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