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Add-On Silo Auger Stops Haylage Plug-Ups
If you ensile haylage you probably have plug-up problems when you unload it. A Minnesota dairy farmer says he's solved the problem with an add-on auger.
"We made it all from salvaged parts. It's an easy-to-make improvement that solves a big problem and lets us feed cattle in one-fourth the time," LeRoy Bauer, of Shakopee, told FARM SHOW.
Bauer says anyone with a top-unloading silo unloader with a blower knows about the plugging problem with haylage. Because haylage is more "gummy" than silage, it's tougher to throw out the silo door and, when operated at full cutting depth, the silo unloader inevitably piles up haylage just under the door. That pile will either bog down the wheel of the unloader when it comes around or plug up the blower.
"You end up running the unloader at 1/4 to 1/3 capacity, or climbing up there all the time to unplug it. I decided last spring, when the silo was nearly empty and the unloader near the ground, that I would try to solve the problem," says Bauer.
He took a 5-ft. length of 12-in. dia. combine auger and cut the tubing around the auger lengthwise, opening it up to make an open trough. At one end of the auger he mounted a bracket on a small frame and, on the other, he put a 15:1 direct drive 90? gearbox driven by a -hp motor.
The auger and trough, mounted directly below the auger blower, are welded to the cross arm that runs from the center of the unloader to the unloading door. Bauer notes that the bracket supporting the auger must be attached to the cross arm in just the right spot because the cross arm slides back and forth.
The motor driving the auger is tied into the unloader controls so that when the unloader runs, the auger automatically comes on. Any haylage that falls from the blower chute falls into the auger trough and is carried out the door.
"It works perfectly. We can now run the blower at full speed and not worry about the possibility of a plug-up. It doesn't take much power. Not only can we run the blower at full speed but we don't have to crawl up into the silo all the time to unplug it," says Bauer.
The only drawback of the unloading auger as designed is that it weighs considerably more than the cross arm alone and is harder to move.
He'd welcome inquiries from manufacturers interested in working with him to develop the idea commercially. Meanwhile, he's willing to custom-build the auger for interested farmers. His auger is fitted to a Van Dale unloader but should work on any unloader with a blower, he points out.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, L & L Markers, c/o Leroy Bauer, 1845 W. 130th St., Shakopee, Minn. 55379 (ph 612 445-3869).

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #4