Unrolling Straw Now 'EZ' Farmer's Creation Makes Process Less Labor-Intensive

Article excerpt

COCHRAN -- T. Whipple Simpson went to a 1990 farm show in search of a machine that would unroll his 650-pound round bales of wheat straw so they could be separated into 40-pound rectangular bales. When he couldn't find one, he did the next best thing -- he invented one.

Simpson received a patent on his invention, the EZ Unroller, last month. The middle Georgia farmer has already sold 17 of the machines -- which start at $15,000 -- around the country and in Canada.

Al Cooper, a farmer near Waynesboro who was one of Simpson's first customers, said he had been looking for a way to make the unrolling process faster and less labor-intensive.

"I tried everything I could think of," he said. Then he saw a magazine article about Simpson's invention.

Simpson said the machine cuts a farmer's work time considerably.

The quickest and most efficient way to bale hay and straw in the field is to bale it into the huge rounds, he said. But they are hard to handle.

"A lot of wheat growers like to double-crop their fields, so they're in a hurry after they harvest the wheat to get the second crop in the ground. You've got only about 3 1/2 weeks to gather the straw before they come back to plant again."

The unroller makes it easy for the producer to wait until a less hectic time to make the smaller bales most buyers want.

"If it's rolled, we'll unroll it," Simpson said. …