Rice Straw Packaging and Handling-81



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Project Leader and Principal UC Investigators

Bryan M. Jenkins and John B. Dobie, Dept. of Agricultural Engineering, UC Davis


Objectives of this project are to devise better systems for collecting, packaging, and handling rice straw for use as feed, fuel, or fiber.

A Hesston Model 4800 BIG BALER was tested in Glenn County. Improper baler adjustments and wet straw plugged the header and sheared the stuffing finger shear pin. These problems indicate that the header drive should be reversible. Some of the problems were probably caused by setting the bale density control too high.

Baler capacity was 5.2 tons per hour wet weight, or 4 tons per hour dry weight. The theoretical capacity is 14 tons per hour on a dry weight basis, the difference being the down-time. Baler operators concluded that with more experience, certain modifications, and baling straw at 20 percent moisture, a 9 ton per hour rate is a reasonable expectation.

Cost for baling, roadsiding, and transporting the rice straw 15 miles was estimated at $28 per ton, based on 9 tons per hour capacity of the baler.

A Vermeer 605-F Big Roll baler encountered many of the same problems as the Hesston on feeding straw into the baler.

Special dies for cubing rice straw were tested on the University of California's cuber. Use of these dies would require strengthening the cuber. Other types of dies require examination and testing.


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