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Power Swath Divider Slices Thru Crops
"Works great," says the manufacturer of a new power swath divider that got its start in downed and tangled rape seed crops in Canada.
"A conventional divider tugs and pulls on crops, knocking seed out and leaving an uneven, bunched-up window that's hard to combine later," says W. Hamilton, general manager of Hamilton and Allen Co., of Brandon, Manitoba. "We feel our power divider will be a great help in rapeseed, soybeans, peas and other downed or tangled crops."
The Glendale divider is essentially a circular saw blade mounted on the divider of combine or swather headers. It's powered by direct drive from the swather or combine's existing drive, or by a mounted hydraulic or gasoline motor. The 24 in. circular blade turns at between 500 and 700 rpm.
The Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI), an independent testing laboratory sponsored by the Canadian government, has tested the new swather divider. In 65 hours of tests in rapeseed, peas and lodged wheat, researchers concluded: "Overall functional performance of the Glendale power swath separator was excellent. Ease of operation was excellent.
"Power requirements ranged from 0.3 to 0.7 horsepower, depending on crop conditions and ground speed. Suitable ground speeds depended on crop conditions, however, speeds up to 8 mph were possible in some lodged crops. Suitable rotational speeds for the separator blade varied from 200 to 600 rpm, with an optimum speed of 400 rpm.
"It took about three man hours to attach the separator and incorporate the direct drive, which is the most practical method of powering the divider. There were no mechanical problems during testing."
Concerning crop loss, the report states, "There was no appreciable crop loss in rapeseed at the divider due to the action of the power divider. When using a standard divider in rapeseed, the crop was separated by pushing it beneath the divider. This left a path of trampled crop about 4 in. wide, which could be retrieved only by cutting in the opposite direction on the next pass. The power swath divider, however, left a clean standing edge, without any significant crop loss.
"The direction of the blade rotation can be changed by twisting the drive belt. The desired direction of the blade rotation depended on crop condition. In lodged or downed crops, the upward cutting direction was more effective."
The Glendale power divider, available in both the U.S. and Canada, ranges in price from $268 to $493, depending on attachments needed to mount it on a particular swather or combine header.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Hamilton & Allen Co., Ltd., Box 794, Brandon, Manitoba R7A 5Z8 Canada (Ph 204 728-4478).
Another power swath divider, imported from France, was also tested by PAMI.
The Brunetti divider from Saintes, France, uses a straight piece of sickle section rather than a rotating blade to cut through crops, but is also mounted on the tip of the standard crop divider. It too, received high praise from PAMI for its performance in the field and should be available soon on the North American market.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, French Trade Commissioner, Suite 902, 304 8th Avenue S.W., Calgary, Alberta T2P 1C2 Canada.

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1982 - Volume #6, Issue #1