Georgia farmer invents 'fantastic' hay unroller
Associated Press

   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 recieved a patent on his invention, the EZ Unroller, this month. The middle Georgia farmer already has sold 17 of the machines- which start at $15,000- acriss the county and in Canada.
     Al Cooper, a farmer near Waynesboro and one of Simpson's first customers, said he had been looking ofr 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. I said,'son of a gun, that darn machine'll work.' "
      Simpson said the machine cuts a farmer's work time considerably.
     The quickest and most effiecient way to bale hay and straw in the fiels is to bale it into huge rounds, he said. 
     " 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 thet 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 is rolled, we'll unroll it," Simpson said.
 
 

     The Ez Unroller comes in single and double models. The sigle-sided machine, powered by a tractor, sells for about $15,000. Cooper bought his double model that comes with four motors that drive the components and power hydraulic system for the conveyor belting, for $43,000.
     Cooper, who grows hay and straw and raises cattle, said he sells 160,000 to 200,000 rectangular bales of straw per year, mostly for land scaping use in metro Atlanta.      
Simpson's invention is "just fantastic," he said. "He and I have both been in the straw business for years, and we're always looking for a better way to save money and to save labor," Cooper said.
      Simpson's son Henry works with him to operate the uinroller on their farm near Cochran.
     Using five levers, one drives the machinery, seesawing a thresher back and forth to loosen the tightly packed straw from the round bale. The entire process-from rolled bale to rectangular bale- takes four minutes, Simpson said.
     The EZ Unroller is painted bright yellow. Simpson said the color decision was fairly easy one. A local paint dealer had pink, yellow and black in gallon buckets.
     "I knew I didn't want black," Simpson said.  "I thought I might use pink," but his wife objected."  I can't repeat what she said about it,"  Simpson said with a grin.  "So they're yellow.  It works.  It's nice and bright and eye-catching."
 

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Simpson Farms
Cochran, Georgia
Email simpsonfarms@yahoo.com