R.F.D 3, Geneseo, Illinois
Due to the high cost of red clover seed, I decided last Fall to try to harvest some of my clover for seed for my own use. There hasn't been any clover seed harvested in this part of the country for a number of years, so with no previous experience to rely on, I decided to try only a small amount. I have a clover huller and decided to put it to work.
When the clover was ripe about 4 acres were cut and windrowed. After the windrows were thoroughly dried, they were baled using a John Deere 24 T Baler. The baler was pulled a little slower than when baling hay to make the slices thinner. The bales were also made a bit lighter so the slices wouldn't be compressed quite as tightly. The four acres yielded 180 bales which were loaded on hay racks and placed in a shed to be threshed at a later date.
The seed was threshed using a Advance Rumely standard huller powered by a 25-40 Oil Pull tractor. An empty hay rack was placed next to the huller and the loaded rack next to it. Bales were tossed onto the empty rack which served as a work area for breaking the bales and pitching the slices into the huller. The 180 bales were threshed in about 2 hours running time and yielded about 5 bushels of seed perfectly cleaned and ready to sow. The straw was blown on a stack in the feed lot and the cattle ate it as well as good hay.
I had never seen a huller operate other than at a steam show. I didn't know what the cylinder speed of this machine should be, so the crankshaft was run 180 rpm the same as an Ideal separator. The speed must have been about correct as the machine ran freely and did a good job of saving and cleaning the seed.
The former owner of this huller said had never been wet as it was always shedded or covered with a tarp each night when out on the run. The good care this machine had in the past surely paid off as all I did was to put on the belts, grease it and put it to work.
I feel this was a very successful venture and would highly recommend it to anyone having the equipment to do the job. The straw (or hay ?) from the huller seemed to be good feed after the seed was removed. From a 'dollars and cents' standpoint the seed saved more than paid for the machine in just two hours running. (Try that with a new $35,000 combine.)
I would be very interested in obtaining an Advance-Rumely clover huller instruction book or in corresponding with someone who might have had experience with one of these machines.