20 September 1996

Host farmer swears by new shredder…

BALE shredders for round and square straw bales have been introduced by Lancashire equipment manufacturer Malgar. Claims of even spread of the dispersed straw with minimum dust were put to the test on a Cumbria dairy farm last week.

The demonstration was limited to the round bale version. Even spread with remarkably little dust impressed onlookers but minor set-up adjustments to the equipment could have enhanced performance in terms of the way the last portion of the bale was dispersed.

But these teething troubles did not deter farmer Gordon Wilson, who hosted the demonstration at Bank Dale Farm, Wreay, near Carlisle.

"Weve had several machines demonstrated on the farm because we want to get away from manually handling big straw bales. This is the best weve seen so far, certainly in terms of the amount of dust produced.

"They have got the basics right even though there are still some minor adjustments that could improve dispersal of the final part of the bale," said Mr Wilson.

Malgars Tim Mills, who says the company has sold 20 shredders in as many weeks, described the machines action of "teasing" the straw out of the bale as the key to its success.

"By teasing the straw from the bale instead of chopping it, the material is left long and unchopped for animal comfort," said Mr Mills.

The loader or telehandler mounted bale shredders are self-loading by driving forward to pick up the bale – in the jaws of the round bale shredder or on the sled of the square bale version.

The shredders use hydraulically-driven, twin contra-rotating discs to tease straw from the bales and spread it evenly over a 4m-5m (13ft-16ft) swath at an optimum rate of 50rpm. Cutting and removing string from the bales is the only manual work involved.

The round bale version is 2.6m (8ft 6in) wide, 2m (6ft) long and weighs 400kg (880lb). The square bale shredder is 2.5m (8ft 2in) wide, 2.8m (9ft 2in) long and weighs 500kg (1100lb). Prices are from £5200.

Twin contra-rotating blades on the new Malgar shredder tease out the straw and spread it to a width of 4 to 5m. Low dust levels are claimed.