AGRICULTURE – MACHINES and EQUIPMENT:
Within our lifetime agriculture has joined other industries that have evolved from family operations and neighborhood processing plants into employer/employees businesses. Technology advanced productivity into a big business at which America excels.
Field machinery and processing plants are bigger, better, faster, more complicated and expensive. Farm machinery mimics the design philosophy of other heavy industry machinery whose development curves were ahead of agriculture. Special machinery is developed for the land and weather that produce vastly different products. Farms, processing plants and machinery in Wisconsin dairy lands are different from the Heartland commodity crops, different from southern fruit and vegetable crops, and different from Idaho potato growers.
Causey Engineering’s expertise focuses on the processing plants and field machinery, and not on agronomy. We have traveled to and studied many parts of the nation in search of the agricultural nuances unique to each area, and have accumulated a considerable amount of expertise. So much is an extension of our knowledge in other heavy industries, including the food manufacturing industry. Causey’s extensive knowledge and experience in the Agriculture industry through the few people trained in Forensic Engineering is available now for your case. We ask that you contact us to discuss how we might be of service.
The corn chopper can cut in any direction of a corn field, with or across the rows. These corn cutter heads fold in for running down a road, and out for a 16 foot swath. It takes two or more trucks so the chopper can keep chopping long days, and maybe around the clock.
Inside the quiet, clean air conditioned chopper cab, the skilled operator has a joy stick for directing the chopped silage from the discharge chute to hit the truck along side or behind the chopper. He is in constant wireless communication with the truck driver --- stop, swing wide around a pothole or rock ahead of you. Or the truck driver might say, stop, I’ll back up to make the turn.
Machinery is often too wide to pull down a road to the next field. With the tractor hydraulic system, it reconfigures from a 16 foot swath to become narrow enough to fit on a road.
Silos are being replaced by “bunkers”.
This bunker is being filled by the truck just filled by the chopper in the field. The trucks dump the silage into the bunker and return to the chopper.
Within the bunker walls a tractor with a dozer blade pushes silage up in about 6 inch lifts and runs back and forth to pack it down so it does not spoil from air.
This green tractor had been running back and forth inside the bunker. But the rookie driver had not kept up packing at the wall, and when he did get there he sank down. The tractor is leaning precariously against the concrete wall, about 15 feet up. More experienced operators brought in a backhoe and the massive brown tractor to pull it away from the wall to safety. This was costly downtime.
A 500 HP four-wheel drive tractor like this articulates in the middle to steer. With 12 tires on the ground it minimizes slippage when it is pulling heavy loads like the disc shown. Tire slippage on the ground is a waste of energy.
Present day thinking is that less tilling and “working of the land” is necessary than what was thought in by-gone days. Not as much plowing. The photos show a disc and a drag. They fold up for pulling down a road. The cost of machinery has become so high that contracting the field work out to specialists is becoming more and more common.
Nowadays a planter can plant 12 or 16 rows at once, and travel faster over the field than years ago. Big machinery requires big fields.
BARNS AND STABLES:
The cattle are fed from the bunkers with front end loaders – or by a computer controlled conveyor that portions out a menu specific for each milk cow.
In the cattle barn, skid steer or other loaders scrape the barn floor and the manure is hauled or pumped to help fertilize the land.