Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952 Page: 12
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12 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1952
Castor-bean harvesting mechanized
A tractor-mounted, two-row castor-bean harvester to be used on
the taller and more rugged plants grown on the Southern Great Plains
has been developed through cooperative efforts of the agricultural
engineers and agronomists of the Oklahoma station (coop. USDA).
The new machine contains a rotary beater mechanism that strips
the castor-bean capsules or pods from the plant without pulling the
plants from the ground. A gathering unit feeds the plants into the
harvester where fabric beaters strip the pods from the plant. The
capsules are moved by augers onto an elevator, which carries them to
a trailer wagon. Improved varieties, planting practices, and machinery
resulting from research in the mechanization of castor-bean
harvesting will aid growers in producing this strategic oil crop on
200,000 acres. The proposed acreage for 1952 which is two and onehalf
times that of 1951 and nearly thirtyfold more than planted in
1950 is expected to supplement imports and to augment military demands
for castor-bean oil. The oil is also used in the manufacture
of nylon, paints, and many other peacetime products.
The finger-wheel hayrake
A new principle of mechanical operation has been incorporated by
the North Carolina station in developing a side-delivery hay rake.
The machine consists of individually floating wheels set in echelon
and at an angle to the direction of travel. Around the periphery
of each wheel is a series of backward-curving teeth or fingers. Pulling
the diagonally set wheels with these fingers attached produces a dragstroke
action which moves any loose material on the ground approximately
parallel to the angle on which the wheels rotate. These backward-curving
fingers or rods facilitate the shedding of the material
being raked without changing the dragstroke action.
Three basic frame mounting arrangements have been used by the
engineers to test the new raking principle. All three have been used
at either the front or rear of the tractor. When the rake is in operation,
the independently floating wheels automatically adjust themselves
to uneven terrain and make the machine more efficient in raking
all of the hay. The windrow formed by the new rake is more uniform
in size than that formed by conventional machines. Indications are
that a lighter rake may be built through the use of this raking principle
because no weight is needed to insure that the supporting wheels
resist all developed side thrusts. The calculated side thrust component
of the full force amounts to approximately 350 pounds and is
absorbed by the tractor.
Experiments with the new rake have given such promising results
that it is expected to find an important place in filling the need for
more economic forage handling on the farm.
Silage conveyor and powered feed bunk saves time and labor
A recent development for conveying and distributing silage to feed
bunks is reported by the Oregon station. A 10-foot chain-type silage
conveyor, used alone or in combination with an electric-powered cleatchain
feed bunk, performed satisfactorily. The cleat-chain feed
bunk distributor cleans out all residual material exceptionally well
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952, book, January 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5990/m1/14/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.