Mobile Feed Block Formation Machine

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Crop production in the country has achieved new feats. This has simultaneously led to increasing production of crop residues, which is still considered a waste despite their huge potential for utilization as feed, fuel and chemicals. Currently, 540 million tonnes of crop residues are produced in the country. An efficient and economical utilization of these residues can have major impact on rural economy. However, the major problem associated with these residues is their low bulk density. Because of low bulk density these residues require very large storage spaces. This creates a very serious problem in transportation and handling. This is why the disposal of these residues becomes a problem during the harvest season and in several cases farmers prefer to burn them in the field causing serious environmental pollution and loss of their income, which could otherwise be made through their potential uses.

To overcome the problems related with the crop residues, the authors developed stationary animal feed block formation machine, which was considered to be a revolutionary step towards better management of crop residues. The machines was found to be highly useful for densification of crop-based residues, especially for manufacture of crop residue based complete diet for animals. Crop residues could profitably be used as animal feed by mixing with diet supplements like concentrates, molasses, mineral mixtures, etc and densifying the mixture into block form. The process was advocated as eco-friendly. In this process, not only harmful gases are prevented from entering into environment as in case of burning but also soil friendly dung and urine are returned to the environment through animal system. However, this machine was found to have some limitations that the residues needed to be transported from field to the machine. Hence, in hilly regions, this machine was not found suitable. To suit the needs of hilly regions, a mobile feed block formation machine was developed.

The mobile machine consists of two hydraulic cylinders, power pack and body. Arrangements for hand-operated levers are made in the machine to operate the hydraulic cylinders manually. The machine is mounted on a four-wheel trolley of 3m X 1.5m size having pneumatic wheels of 8X20". The machine is operated by 6.5 hp air-cooled diesel engine. This machine could be used in different locations and situations. The size of feed block is (15 X 15cm) in cross section and of varying thickness. The feed block weight varies from 0.5 to 2.5 kg. The cost of feed block formation works out to Rs 600/tonne.

The advantages of machine are

  • It is very simple in operation.
  • The capacity of machine ranges between 100 and 125 kg/h.
  • The machine could generate a compression pressure up to 280 kg/cm2.
  • The feed blocks from the machine do not require typing.
  • A minimum volume reduction by one-fourth (1/4) of crop residues is possible through the machine.
  • The machine could be transported to the field for densification of residue and thereby time and cost incurred on handling and transportation of crop residue from field could be saved.


The authors offer a grateful thanks to the National Agriculture Technology Project (ICAR) for providing financial assistance to develop the machine.


Invention Intelligence, May - June 2006