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Low Cost Grain Cleaner
North Dakota farmer Keith Monson of Cooperstown, says the grain cleaner he made in his farm shop "only cost a few dollars and it works better than a commercial one."
"The sides are 1 by 6 in. boards, the cross pieces are 1 by 2's, and the adjustable legs are 2 by 4's. The screen is 1/8 in. mesh hardware cloth that you can buy anywhere," he notes.
The cleaner is positioned on a truck box or on the ground, and all the grain passes over it before entering the auger. The efficient thing to do is place it over a truck box so the screenings can be hauled away directly.
"There are some secrets to making it work efficiently," suggests Monson. "The slope should be gentle enough for the grain to run slow and not build up at the bottom. A wide slide is most efficient but was limited by the 3 ft. width of the hard-ware cloth. Wind speed and direction either slows down or speeds up movement of grain on the slide."
Monson uses his cleaner mostly for wheat and barley, but it also works for sunflowers, soybeans or corn. In his weedy fields he has been taking but as high as 10% weed seed, and he says it can clean up grain good enough to use as seed.
Taking out the weed seeds is doubly profitable. First, it saves trucking extra weight to the elevator that won't be paid for.
Second, it separates out some valuable feed.
"Last year weed seed was worth $40 a ton, and I sold about $1,200 worth. This year it may be up to $47 a ton," says Monson. "It makes a high protein pelleted cattle feed."
Monson says his next cleaner will be made with steps in it about every two feet because an interruption in the flow of grain bounces it into the air and cleans it better.

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1982 - Volume #6, Issue #5