KUHN Farm Machinery has introduced a dust control system to its range of straw bedders: available as an option on new equipment, or as a retrofit upgrade for existing machines, the CLEANSTRAW system reduces dust in livestock buildings by applying a fine mist of water to straw as it is distributed for bedding purposes.
It was launched at the recent UK Dairy Day at the Telford International Centre. The CLEANSTRAW system comprises a 64-litre water tank and three misting nozzles mounted at the exit of the straw blowing chute. The nozzles are fed by a 12v/15amp pump which provides water at a flow rate of 1.8l/min, enough to treat 12 to 18 bales of straw at a rate of 1 litre of water per 100kg of straw.
Applying a mist of water at this rate and in this way eliminates excessive levels of airborne dust by reducing the amount of time that these particles remain suspended in the air: trials have shown that the air in a typical livestock building will be dust-free within 30 seconds after straw-blowing with the CLEANSTRAW system has ceased, compared to several minutes under normal conditions.
“Reducing the amount of dust in livestock buildings has a number of advantages,” explains KUHN Product Specialist, Katie Calcutt. “It not only creates a cleaner, more comfortable and more productive environment for cattle, but also for farm workers who will be less susceptible to inhaling dust particles and other impurities which may be present in the straw.”
The CLEANSTRAW system is available for all KUHN straw bedders and mixer wagons equipped with a blowing turbine. These include the POLYDRIVE equipped range of PRIMOR straw bedders and feeders and the PROFILE PLUS range of mixer wagons with straw bedding capabilities.
The CLEANSTRAW’s nozzles and pump components are protected against blockages by a suction filter system, and all the system’s components sit within the original footprint of the machine to which they are mounted. The water tank is equipped with a drain valve for cleaning and maintenance and is transparent to make it easy to check the water level at a glance. A pressure gauge and manually operated thumbwheel are used to adjust tank pressure and water flow.
The system is automatically activated when the POLYDRIVE system is engaged and can also be armed or disabled via an in-cab switch: this enables users of a combination straw bedding and feeding wagon to turn the system on when blowing straw for bedding, or off when dispensing feed.
“Adding a fine mist of water as straw exits the spreading chute means very little water is required,” Katie adds. “This not only preserves the straw’s absorbency potential, ensuring it remains an effective and hygienic bedding material, but also means the straw bedder’s maximum working capacity remains unaffected.”