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Single-Pass Baling of Corn Stover

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2012 Dallas, Texas, July 29 - August 1, 2012  121337627.(doi:10.13031/2013.42277)
Authors:   Joseph R Keene, Kevin J Shinners, Lenny Hill, Adam Stallcop, Scott Wemhoff, H Dennis Anstey, Aaron J Bruns, Jeremiah K Johnson
Keywords:   Biomass; baling, cobs; corn stover; density; storage

A single-pass corn grain and stover harvester was produced by coupling a combine harvester and towed large round baler. An accumulation hopper and metering system was added to the baler to allow for continuous collection of stover through the bale wrapping and ejection cycles. Both the accumulation metering system and the baler were powered hydraulically by the combine. When harvesting with an ear-snapper header at an average of 5.6 hah-1 and stover collection rate of 1.4 Mgha-1, fuel use was increased by an average of 11% over baseline operation without the baler. Bale dry densities of 164 to 206 kgm-3 were achieved in this configuration. The feed system capacity was more than sufficient to handle the mass-flow collected with the ear-snapper header, so the baler and feed system only needed to be operated approximately 38% of the harvest time. When using a whole-plant header to achieve average stover collection rates of 4.5 Mgh-1 , combine area capacity was reduced by more than 50% and the accumulator feed system was less effective at unloading the long stalks collected. Increasing the aggressiveness of the combine residue chopper reduced the hopper unloading time by 69%, but the additional processing of material also increased combine fuel use. Single-pass bales produced at greater than 250 gkg-1 moisture were not well conserved unless stored anaerobically.

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