Monitor Bale Moisture
With the DewPoint hay steamer, it’s possible to make consistent bales across a wide variety of windrow and weather conditions. In this video and blog, we will discuss how to monitor bale moisture during baling, and how to adjust steam rates to reach your optimal moisture level.
The Gazeeka Moisture Sensor
In the video you will notice a small green control box above the steamer monitor. That’s the monitor for the Gazeeka moisture sensor. Most of our customer will either purchase a Gazeeka moisture sensor or some other kind of moisture sensor. The Gazeeka moisture sensor is a non-contact microwave sensor that transmits high frequency electromagnetic waves between two antennae. The two antennae are mounted on the baler so as to analyse the hay bale as it exits the baler. The display unit in the cab provides moisture readings every few seconds. We use these moisture readings to adjust how much steam we apply to the hay.
Adjusting Steam Rates for Desired Moisture Levels
We know that desired moisture levels vary from state to state. In dryer, more arid states, operators aim for bale moisture content between 12-15%. In wetter, more humid climates, bale moisture content will be higher, and preservative spray will often be used in conjunction with the DewPoint hay steamer. In wetter climates, steam is still effective at maintaining leaves during baling.
Because the Gazeeka moisture sensor measures the bales as they are ejected from the baler, moisture readings will be 2 bales behind. So, when making steam adjustments, it’s important to slowly increase steam rates. Also, it’s important to remember that your steam rate changes will take 2 bales to show on the Gazeeka display unit in the cab. In the video, Dave makes several small steam rate adjustments, but he makes sure to wait a few bales between each rate increase until he reaches his optimal moisture level.
Start on the Dry Side
When first starting to bale, it’s important to start off at a lower steam rate until the Gazeeka can provide you an accurate moisture reading. Then, once you know your starting moisture level, you will be able to gauge how much you need to increase your steam rate. It’s always better to bale the first few bales too dry than too wet. If you want to read our blog about how to start baling with the DewPoint hay steamer click here.,