1988 - Volume #12, Issue #5, Page #04[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Grain Bid Ski-Auger Breaks Up Storage CrustA Butterfield, Minn., farmer, D. Junior Stoesz, uses a homemade, portable "auger on skis" to break up the crust and remove hot spots in the grain at the top of his bins.
"It's less expensive than a stirrator and easier on the corn," says Stoesz about his electric motor-powered rig. He uses natural air to dry all his corn in 36 and 42 ft. dia. bins and runs the "auger on skis" in the fall and spring as necessary. "In the fall, we use the auger to `soften up' the first couple layers of wet corn in the bin. This helps the bin fan move air through the wettest corn. In the spring, we use it to break up crusted corn on top of bins. The auger removes hot spots in the top 6 ft. or so and blends the top layers with grain pulled up from below."
The 7-ft. long auger is powered by a 1 hp electric motor that's connected to a belt and pulley. The auger rides between 6 ft. long, 4 in. wide "skis" made of light gauge metal (formerly the bottom ring around his discarded kitchen cupboards). To thoroughly mix grain at all levels, the auger is built in two stages, with a 3-in. dia. bottom half and a 4-in. dia. top half. Stoesz pushes the entire auger 1 to 6 ft. deep into the corn, using a "stop" chain on a "T" bar at one end to set auger depth and angle. He pulls the auger with a rope connected to the ends of the skis. "The auger does most of the work, pulling itself along as I guide it," notes Stoesz. "I start at the edge of the bin and make smaller and smaller circles, finishing up in the center of the bin."
By pulling 2 pins on a frame connecting the skis, Stoesz can fold the skis together for transport. To move the unit between bins, Stoesz disassembles it into 3 components - auger, electric motor and skis. On one bin he uses an outlet at the bin's top opening. On the other bin he uses a cord hanging from the roof.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, D. Junior Stoesz, Rt. 1, Box 193, Butterfield, Minn. 56120 (ph 507 956-2644).
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