The Pro-Chop 150 bale chopper from Canadian manufacturer Anderson Group is a unique straw processing and spreading machine that enables farmers to cut bedding and forage to specific lengths to help bed down livestock pens or cubicles quickly, and prepare forage for feeding.
The chopping system has already been recognised in its native country, where it has won an AE50 award, these are only presented to the 50 most innovative machines produced for the food or agricultural industries each year.
It gets the ability to chop bedding and forage materials to three precise, different lengths from its unique rotor, which features 264 aggressive double knives mounted on 22 discs.
By engaging a range of additional elements, the machine can chop a variety of forages to short lengths, although it can be disengaged to enable it to pass through without being cut, as might be required for bedding down livestock pens.
With no other elements engaged, the Pro-Chop 150 can spread straw up to 20m to its right and 13m feet to its left, with its discharge chute able to distribute through 270 degrees behind and to either side of the machine. This enables users to bed down livestock pens quickly and easily, without the operator having to leave the tractor seat or enter the pen.
Chop lengths vary according to the type of forage: haylage can be chopped down from full length to 10cm by engaging the top gate, which can be reduced to 7.5cm by activating the counter knives, and then to 2.5cm by engaging the machine’s recutter screen.
These lengths are ideal for spreading forage into mixer wagons, feed troughs, and help the livestock perform to their optimum, said Andersons’ Todd McMyn.
“The chute can be angled to feed the forage directly into a TMR wagon, where the fact that it’s chopped so accurately will enable it to mix into the ration easily, or to feed the forage directly into feed barriers,” he added.
“The short chop lengths ensure the forage remains in the livestock’s rumen for long enough for its nutrients to be absorbed efficiently, and enable the animals to achieve optimum performance.”
The machine’s bale chamber can carry a single square bale up to 1.2m in section by 2.4m long; two 1.5m diameter round bales, or a single round bale 1.8m in diameter.
Bales are presented to the cutting rotor by a chain conveyor. If required the machine’s rear door can also be used to ensure the bale is presented to the cutter rotor consistently.
Operators have a camera focused on the bale chamber to help them manage the flow of material, and can reverse the conveyor to clear blockages. The machine needs a tractor of 80hp with a 540rpm PTO and minimum of 35 lit/min hydraulic flow.