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Something New to Consider. Pelleting or Cubeing Machine


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#1 Dan.hasbargen

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:29 AM

If it were possible to use a machine much like the John Deere 425 Cuber to harvest any of the crop residues for delivery to an energy plant, Would you use one? How much capacity would it need to have? 5 tons/hr or up to 15 tons/hr? If the machine were to cost around $400,000 and could profit around $20.00 per ton after all operating expences, would it be feasible to own? Just some thoughs I have been kicking around.

#2 haybaler101

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 08:53 PM

Just some rough figuring, but I come with $15/ton just to cover ownership of the machine itself at 15 ton/hour on a $400,000 investment. Still doesn't cover repairs, fuel, labor, transportation of product or anything else. So, until biomass hits about $100/ton, I don't think its going to be feasible to produce. (I figured 300 hours use at 15 ton/hour per year on 3 year use.)
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#3 Dan.hasbargen

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:21 PM

I'm thinking along the lines that the cubes would be worth around $95 to $100 a ton at the gate of a plant. Would the machine be better as a pull type? That would take close to $150,000 off the price. You would need to pull a side dump wagon for the cubes.

#4 swmnhay

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 07:22 AM

I wonder about moisture levels to make the cubes.To dry they will fall apart.To wet they would mold and heat.

Interesting idea tho.

Maybe move machine from wheat country to corn country to get a longer season.With that huge of an investment and resale would be very low it would have to be used more than 300 hrs per yr
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#5 Dan.hasbargen

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 08:43 AM

There are some good reasons to consider such a machine. It would save a lot of time and equipment needed to collect and stack bales. It would greatly improve the ease of handleing and reduce transportation cost. Storage cost would be reduced and fire risk would be reduced. I am particle to a self propelled unit (like a combine) that would be able to have several different type of headers on it, although a pickup head would be used the most. It could have a crop shredder type of head that could gather corn stalks for cubeing and mabe elliminate the shredding/windrowing operation. They are having good results with pelleting stover at 20 too 25% moisture. The pelleting operation drys the material down to 15% or removes up to 12% from the stover. I don't think there would be that much reduction in moisture with cubeing as it won't get that hot going through the dies. It all depends on what type of process can be adapted into a machine that will have the capacity to make it a practical operation.

#6 mlappin

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 06:40 PM

If it were possible to use a machine much like the John Deere 425 Cuber to harvest any of the crop residues for delivery to an energy plant, Would you use one? How much capacity would it need to have? 5 tons/hr or up to 15 tons/hr? If the machine were to cost around $400,000 and could profit around $20.00 per ton after all operating expences, would it be feasible to own? Just some thoughs I have been kicking around.


I don't know, personally I'd be horribly upset with my round baler if I could only get 15 tons an hour out of it. Normally I can make a 1000lb bale in roughly 30-35 seconds in good hay and it takes a tad over 20 seconds to wrap, disharge and close the baler. Granted baling cornstalks is different, but 15 tons an hour still sounds low for a $400,000 machine.
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#7 Dan.hasbargen

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 12:41 PM

You have to consider that in straw and stover you are only removing 1 too 1-1/2 tons/acre so that would be 10 to 15 acres/hr. This machine would be doing a lot of processing at the same time. It would need to grind the material small enough to cube and then cube it. It is hard to compete with the round balers in cost/ton for the equipment, but round bales are just not going to be practical in the high tonnage required by an energy plant. I just read an article about the Poet project and they wrote that there were lots of problems with transporting the round bales after they had went through the winter. The large square bales are preferible, but the balers are high cost and a lot heavier. I've been in the field with both styles and the big squares can really cover the acres. 160 or more acres/day is common with the big square balers (10 hr day). I am thinking a cuber would need to be close to the same capacity as that.

#8 Gearclash

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 08:32 AM

A curious mind is asking about the numbers: around HERE: standing stover is worth about $15/ton, or less. Retail value as a 5x6 round bale varies from $40 a ton to $50 a ton. The first question then, is the pelleting/cubing process that valuable as to double the retail value of stover?
Second, if the pelleting/cubing machine costs $400,000 and generates a net profit of $20 a ton, how does that compete with a round baler that costs $140,000 (I'll assume new tractor) and will show a net profit of at least $10 per ton?
One plus I see is the ability to use 20+% moisture material; I think standing corn stover contains more moisture than most people realize.

One other comment: I've operated a big square in corn stover, and don't see how it can be justified on a large scale. Maybe it's the baler, but capacity is reduced, misties are common, and component wear is significantly increased, vs. baling hay. I'm curious what make/model/bale size was used for this experiment. A local feedlot runs Hesston 4x4's and they seem to spend their share of time stopped, untangling the knotters.:(
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#9 swmnhay

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 09:31 AM

. I just read an article about the Poet project and they wrote that there were lots of problems with transporting the round bales after they had went through the winter. .


The problem was much worse with certain brands of net.The lighter brands of net tended to break when froze down.

These guys baling stalks for Poet (Emmetsburg,Iowa)are new to baling,most anyway.They don't no how to store bales.You don't store bales on bare dirt in field and expect to pick them up in mid winter,good chance they will be froze down.And you don't have sides of bales touching the net will freeze to the net on next bale and possibly break when trying to move.

They are learning and last fall was just a trial run.Bigger trial run this fall and plant going the next yr??

I heard they were breaking ground and 18 months to build.

Interesting article.

http://www.siouxcity...698dc41b74.html

Edited by swmnhay, 08 August 2011 - 10:07 AM.

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#10 iflylow

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 10:07 AM

Woodford Equip in Emmetsburg doesnt carry any poor quality net wrap to my knowledge. Many were using a product called Farmers brand out of Junction City, KS. The wrap specifically says on the side of it to apply at least 4 layers of wrap and for cornstalks it may need to be 5 or 6. I didnt see a single bale that had over 3 layers of net wrap on it. That is one major problem. I do understand though if this is going to be done right, 6 layers of net wrap will cost a fortune not to mention downtime to wrap every single bale. I still believe the first truckload of round bales to slide off the road and cause a wreck or worse yet a fatality may be the end of rounds on the Poet project. Hundreds of loads per week of round bales hauled into town is a bad idea anywhere. Especially in country that gets ice and snow 3-4 months of the year. Every large scale project in the world that has ever had any kind of success used large rectangular bales. Rounds will never be able to scale up to the full production capasity that Poet will require.
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#11 Dan.hasbargen

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 04:01 PM

Been away on business a lot the last month. I have researched this a lot more and think I'm ready to make the first test die set to see just what conditions it will take to get cubes from Straw and Stover. From these tests I will have a better idea of the complexity of the process needed to be acomplished with the machine.
The main thing to keep the large square balers running in corn stover was the type of blower used to keep the Knotters clean. The newer Hesston/Masseys have a good blower set-up, as do the Krones. I have also seen where there is an angle iron piece applied to the top of the plunger to push the stover back farther to help keep the leaves and husks away from the needles. Dirt build-up on the lower corners of the bale chamber did happen some, but only baling when the stover had been rained on and was hard to pick up from the ground without getting some mud with it. We had the same problem when baling wheat straw after being rained on. I believe installing a bale chamber plastic liner would help prevent the build-up, but have not talked to anyone using one yet.
I think POETS will move to large squares as soon as they are shure the process is feasible. The savings to the company are just to great to stay with rounds.

#12 Dan.hasbargen

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:17 AM

Hello Guys, This Nov. I baled up 300 acres of corn stover using a New Holland BB9080 3 x 4 baler and Case IH MX285 Tractor. As I expected the overall capacity is reduced by close to 30% and there was problems with misties from stalks getting into the Knotters. We used a 15 ft windrowing shredder and the baler could only handle 5-1/2 to 6 mph on the swaths. Most of the stover was baled at 20% to 25% moisture and the baler worked very well at that and drier for moisture. As the moisture went up at night and at start-up in the morning the misties were much more often. The moisture sensor on the baler didn't work at all in the stover as the juice from the stalks would rub on the surfaces of the bale chamber and it would always show 35 to 40% moisture even when the stover was checking at 15% after cooking to dry it out. It was a long day to get 60 acres done, ( noon to 8:00 pm) with a yield of 2-1/2 tons/acre, bale averaged 1000 lbs each. Ground conditions were dry so I did not have any trouble with dirt build-up in the bale chamber. Some obsurvations, I don't think the Stover compresses and springs back like straw does. there is not the spring effect on the plunger each time it pushes on the bale, just a solid like hit. The baler feels like it is pushing a waffer at every stroke, not just when the prepack puts a waffer into the chamber. It also would take less pressure on the chamber cylinders to make 1000 lb bales, (550-600) than with straw. The pressure would go down as the stover moisture went up, and at 25% the pressure would be down to 400 and it was time to stop for the night. The 25% moisture bales are storing well with no temp. rise in the bales. Had some of the 35% bales heat up ( never over 100F degrees) and were used for bedding within 3 weeks of baling. I know I get a little long on these Posts, but may be some good info for somebody. Thanks.

#13 1chevy02

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:27 PM

We easily can shred, bale and stack 120 ac with one baler, shredder and stinger in a day. 500-800 bales of corn stover a day is very doable. This is with one Loftness 15' shredder and a massey 2190 baler. I think that is very hard to beat efficiency wise. I have wondered about stacking it at the edge of the field and then bringing grinders in as I was under the impression that it would have to be ground anyways. I think we can haul more on large walking floor trailers than dropdeck trailers. Trucks here were hauling 28-32 4x4 bales and still only had 17-18 tons on. That makes freight very expensive if hauling for any distance.
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#14 iflylow

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:05 PM

We have always figured about 30 cents a bale for maintenance on a large square baler. IE 18,000 bales = $5400.00 repairs and maintenance. This is a good figure to use for repairs. Agco's XD baler from what I am hearing basically has been making a 1050-1100 lb straw bale instead of a 900-950 lb bale. 42 3x4 bales would weigh as much as 48,000-49,000
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#15 Dan.hasbargen

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 05:50 PM

I have used $.50/ bale for maintanance cost on the baler in all my cost models. I try to use worst case numbers. I have had some discusions with the guys at Agco about their new baler and they are confident the balers will make the heavier bales without the maintanance problems of the other HD baler. The consern I have is that even if the bales are heavier, they are still bales and do not take away any of the challenges of handling and processing the bale.

#16 Dan.hasbargen

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 06:01 PM

My main problem was being to close to the combine and shredding operations. The stover was not dry enough for the baler to work properly. Once the stover dried out the baler worked much better.
I have reseached into the grind before transport concept and the numbers just don't work out to make it feasible. Ground straw/Stover weighs only 6-8 lbs/cu.ft. and would need to be packed into the largest trailers that would be practicle for going into feilf approaches. A 53 ft walking floor high side trailer would only haul around 15 tons. There would need to be a pelleting system with the grinder to make the cost of transport low enough to be profitable.

#17 dstickle

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:49 AM

I was going through some of the topics and found this talking about cubing.  I have 4 Warren and Baerg cubers for sale, like new.  Any interest?



#18 markv30809

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 10:58 AM

I am interested in buying those warren and baerg cubers if they are still for sale.  please send me an email to mrkvaugh@aol.com  or call 706 306-9700.

thank you






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