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A simple separator was developed to determine the particle sizes of forage and TMR that allows for easy separation of wet forage into three fractions and also allows plotting of the particle size distribution. The device was designed to mimic the laboratory-scale separator for forage particle sizes that was specified by Standard S424 of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. A comparison of results using the standard device and the newly developed separator indicated no difference in ability to predict fractions of particles with maximum length of less than 8 and 19 mm.
The separator requires a small quantity of sample (1.4 L) and is manually operated. The materials on the screens and bottom pan were weighed to obtain the cumulative percentage of sample that was undersize for the two fractions. The results were than plotted using the Weibull distribution, which proved to be the best fit for the data.
Convenience samples of haycrop silage, corn silage, and TMR from farms in the northeastern US were analyzed using the forage and TMR separator, and the range of observed values are given.
Abbreviation key:ASAE (American Society of Agricultural Engineers)
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Accepted: October 27, 1995
Received: January 19, 1995
© 1996 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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