Everglades Station Mimeo 59-18
Present status on dewatering feeds i'A
in south Florida area*
H. L. Chapman, Jr.
Associate Animal Nutritionist
Everglades Experiment Station
As stated by Randolph et al (1) the process of mechanically dewatering e&R
material can be described as running the material in question through a modified
and greatly enlarged meat grinder. In the process, a certain amount of fluid is
mechanically removed. This is not a new technic. However, it is one which has
received renewed attention in south Florida during the past 12-18 months. This
interest has been precipitated by earlier failures to maintain economical arti-
ficial or field forage drying programs in this part of the State. It is thought
that this procedure may offer a more economical means of reducing the moisture
content in high-moisture materials from approximately 85-90 percent moisture
down to 70 percent. Randolph (1) reviews the historical aspects of this technic
as well as the results of preliminary studies at the Everglades Station. There
have been no comparative feeding tests conducted at the Everglades Station with
dewatered material up to the present time.
Significance of mechanical dewatering
to the production of feed
Following processing with the mechanical press, the material may be handled
in one of several ways:
1. Fed as fresh material.
2. Preserved as silage.
3. Artificially dried.
Advantages of mechanically dewatering forage materials:
1. Fed as fresh material
(a) Produces a product uniform in dry matter content.
(b) Utilizes entire plant.
(c) Allows utilization of plant at time of optimum nutritive value,
irregardless of environmental factors.
2. In silage production
(a) Production of a material of optimum and uniform moisture content
(b) Possibly reduces preservative requirement.
3. In an artificial dehydration program
(a) Uniformity in moisture content of product to be dehydrated.
(b) Reduction of fuel cost of dehydration.
(c) Increased dehydrator output.
* Presented at Cattlemen's Short Course, Gainesville, Florida
April 17, 1959
Problems involved in mechanical dewatering program:
1. All plant materials are not well adapted to the mechanical press.
2. Need for a uniform supply of types of materials which will be adapted
to the press.
3. Disposal of press liquors.
4. Large initial capital outlay investment.
5. Currently used vegetable harvesting machinery would need major modifica-
tion in order to utilize vegetable waste materials in the mechanical prese
6. Farm repairs of stainless steel parts are difficult.
(1) Randolph, J. W., J. P. Winfree and V. E. Green, Jr. 1958. Mechanical
dewatering of forage crops. Everglades Station Mimeo Report 58-14.