Adjusting Steam Valves When Baling Hay

Important Tips for Proper Steam Valve Adjustment in Various Conditions

The DewPoint 6210 has four different steam valves that correspond to four different steam manifolds on the baler – 1 bottom front manifold, 1 bottom rear manifold, 1 top front manifold, and 1 top rear manifold.  See picture below.  The operator can control each of these steam manifolds individually for complete control in a variety of weather conditions.  Being able to adjust where the steam is applied to the windrow, allows farmers to make hay that has consistent leaf retention and moisture content all the way through the bale.

 

General principles for Using Proportional Valve Controls

  • The first principle to remember is to set the valves where you want more stream applied to the fully open position.
  • The second is to set the valves where you want less steam applied to a lower position as needed according to the conditions you are operating in.
  • The third principle is to use the master steam slider to control the overall steam rate to achieve the desired moisture level in your bales.

Now let’s discuss some common scenarios that you could face when operating the DewPoint hay steamer, and how you would adjust your valves for optimal leaf retention and bale quality.

Scenario 1

In this scenario you are baling into the evening as natural dew is beginning to set into the top of the windrow but the bottom of the windrow is still dry. The following valve adjustments are recommended:

  • Set the Bottom Front and Bottom Rear Valves to fully open
  • Set the Top Front and Top Rear Valves somewhat lower, perhaps between ½ and ¾ open depending on the amount of natural dew coming into the top of the windrow.
  • Use the Master Steam Rate Slider to control the overall steam rate to achieve the desired moisture level in your bales.
  • As the natural dew continues to increase in the top of the windrow you can lower the setting on the Top Front and Top Rear Valves as needed, and continue to use the Master Steam Rate Slider to control the overall steam rate to achieve the desired moisture level in your bales.

This is what the touch screen in the tractor cab would look like for Scenario 1.

Scenario 2

In this scenario you are baling in the morning as natural dew is moving out of the top of the windrow but the bottom of the windrow is still moist from natural dew.

  • Set the Top Front and Top Rear Valves to fully open
  • Set the Bottom Front and Bottom Rear Valves somewhat lower, perhaps between ½ and ¾ open depending on the amount of natural dew remaining in the bottom of the windrow.
  • Use the Master Steam Rate Slider to control the overall steam rate to achieve the desired moisture level in your bales.
  • As the natural dew continues to decrease in the bottom of the windrow you can raise the setting on the Bottom Front and Bottom Rear Valves as needed, and continue to use the Master Steam Rate Slider to control the overall steam rate to achieve the desired moisture level in your bales.

This is what the touch screen in the tractor cab would look like for Scenario 2.

Scenario 3

In this scenario you are baling in the daytime with no natural dew. The hay is dry but the daytime temperature is less than 90 deg. F and winds are calm.

  • Set All Valves to fully open.
  • Use the Master Steam Rate Slider to control the overall steam rate to achieve the desired moisture level in your bales.

This is what the touch screen in the tractor cab would look like for Scenario 3.

Scenario 4

In this scenario you are baling in the afternoon with no natural dew and the windrow is “bone dry”.  The wind is blowing at 10-20 mph and the temperature is near 100 deg. F.  These are less than ideal baling conditions but you need to continue baling because of an approaching storm system or to keep up with your baling schedule.

  • Set the Top Rear and Bottom Rear Valves to fully open. 
  • Set the Top Front and Bottom Front Valves to about ¾ open.
  • Use the Master Steam Rate Slider to control the overall steam rate to achieve the desired moisture level in your bales.
  • In these more adverse baling conditions you can run the Master Steam rate up as high as is needed, even up to 100% if necessary to reach a good bale moisture level.  Remember in these conditions it is best to run the Top Front and Bottom Front Valves at a lower rate because you will still get good leaf retention at the baler pickup. The Top Rear and Bottom Rear Valves will apply the majority of the steam to the windrow as it passes through the Packer area of the Baler and this moisture will stay in the hay as it passes through the Stuffer and into the Bale Chamber.  This method will allow you to make good hay in more adverse conditions when it is necessary.

Remember that when you are baling in high temperatures and using high steam rates you should monitor your bale temperature using a suitable bale temperature probe to be sure your internal bale temperature does not exceed 135 deg. F.  Any temperature probe must remain in the bale for a few minutes to obtain an accurate bale temperature reading. Click HERE to read our blog about managing bale temperature.

This is what the touch screen in the tractor cab would look like for Scenario 3.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply