Hillco Single Pass Round Bale System

The possibility of harvesting corn and baling corn stover in one pass is sure to get your attention. By pairing the two, the Hillco Single Pass Round Bale (SPRB) system maximizes your overall efficiency and productivity while minimizing costs.

Developed in a partnership with John Deere, Hillco Technologies, Inc.’s system is fully automated and offers continuous round baling with no stopping necessary. 

Following are key features of the SPRB system.
• Low horsepower. “A large square baler is going to run upwards of 100 hp. to drive because it’s a very power-intensive process,” says Lenny Hill, owner and president of Hillco Technologies, Inc. “A large round baler with the SPRB system is pulling about 35 hp. off of the combine.”

He says he fields a lot of questions about why they chose to go with a round baler vs. a large square baler.

“Going with the large round baler was really driven by the efficiency of the combine because we have to focus on maintaining that efficiency in the field,” Hill explains. “A large round baler with SPRB will have a total weight of less than 12,000 pounds compared with a large square baler that will weigh 20,000 to 22,000 pounds.”

• Full visibility. Three strategically located cameras provide easy viewing.

• Simple pintle-style hitch that connects and disconnects.

• In-cab operator controls at the touch of a button.

• Even feeding, which creates dense, well-formed bales.

• Faster grinding times for bales. “It grinds at about a 2:1 ratio over conventional stalk bales,” he notes.

The system improves the quality of the bales. “The SPRB system consists of a high percentage of cobs and husks. The feed quality is higher than other cornstalk bales,” says Hill.

Because the baled material comes directly out of the back of the combine, the material never touches the ground, which translates into cleaner bales with far less ash or dirt than traditional stalk bales.

“You can’t make energy out of dirt,” he notes.

This system also provides a highly sustainable harvesting and baling method.

“At removal rates of around 1 ton per acre, the SPRB system removes a lower amount of essential nutrients from the soil, leaving the highest plant nutrients on the field,” he says. 

“Studies show that stover removal rates of up to 30% can increase yield in corn-on-corn rotation. The SPRB system removes, on average, .8 to 1.4 tons an acre. That’s a big plus for farmers looking for ways to produce more with their existing acreage,” Hill says.

Suggested price of the SPRB system is about $80,000, which doesn’t include the baler.

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