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Pull-Behind Double Hay Crimper
"We're commercial hay growers and we're always looking for ways to get hay dried and baled quickly," say Jim and Roger Koppes. "We first tried chemical preservatives but found they were unreliable and expensive. So we decided to re-evaluate the entire hay making process, starting with our mower-conditioners.
"The closest we could get the rollers on our conditioners was 1/8-in., and they would only crimp the stems every 2 in. We felt there had to be a better way to squeeze water from the stems. That's when we remembered how people used to use hay ęcrimpers' years ago.
"I bought our first crimper at an auction for $55. We used it for a year and found we could mow, crush and then bale in 36 to 48 hours instead of the 72 to 96 hours we needed with our conventional mower-conditioners. However, the extra pass we had to make with our one crimper took too long. We found a second crimper and then started looking for a way to pull the two crimpers together behind one tractor.
"Since we already owned a tandem rake hitch, we copied that concept to build a tandem hitch with hydraulic motor and hydraulic steering. The axle for the hitch came from an old hay elevator and the motor that drives the pto on the rear crimper came from a used fertilizer auger.
"In our second year, we covered 300 acres of hay with this set-up, while losing just one bearing and a set of seals. Not bad for a pair of 30-year old machines. We have done as much as 10 acres an hour on 2nd or 3rd cuttings. Total investment was just $300.
"We still cut hay with our mower-conditioners, which crimp every 2 in. We follow up with the crimpers, which squeeze moisture out through these areas, at the same time flattening stems. We've used this double crimper on alfalfa, timothy, and orchardgrass."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jim Koppes, Maple Knoll Farm, 9170 Chatham Rd., Medina, Ohio 44256.

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #1