Perfect loose hay drying without hood suction

Schindlauer family in Oberwang

The Schindlauer farm on a map of Austria

The Schindlauer family has been drying very successfully with the HSR 5015 Kompakt drying system with Vario comfort control, a system without hood suction and without heating ovens, since 2012. The system has a total power connection of 50 A and 27 kW (ventilator and air dehumidifier).


Basic parameters:

  • Effective area: 30 ha grassland
  • Number of cows: 26 dairy cows and offspring
  • Drying system: HSR 5015 Kompakt, SR 50 dehumidifier, SR 900/15 ventilator, Vario comfort control
  • Hay boxes: 3 boxes: 2x 110m2 and 1x 70m2 with changeover damper

Why did you decide on machine hay drying?

Before the installation of the new drying system, we already used cold ventilation to process our hay, so it was clear from the beginning with that we would continue to do so. This allowed us to make use of our prior experience and to incorporate it into planning the construction of the new hay barn with a stable below. Due to our existing clientele, it was also necessary to remain in hay farming. What was important to us about the new system was that it would increase the capacity, i.e. the amount introduced daily.

Which improvements did you notice after commissioning the system?

It was ready by mid-May 2012. The first cut was ready for mowing in order to test out the new dehumidifier system. The hay from the first cut was more than convincing. The quality was outstanding, which was confirmed by the evaluation of the feed analysis. The milk quantity hardly decreased during the transition from grass to winter feed. The quantity and quality remained at the same high standard. With conventional cold ventilation, there was always a significant drop off. That's why we are going to omit the additional protein feed and use only energy hay this year.

Pomwenger family in Anthering

Der Hof der Pomwengers auf der Österreich-Karte

The Pomwenger family has been very successfully drying with a loose hay drying system from HSR without hood suction since 2013. The system was precisely analysed by Mag. Kittl (Salzburg Chamber of Agriculture) in cooperation with Prof. Gotthard Wirleitner.

In his neighbourhood, Mag. Matthias Kittl used the system, which includes a 50m2 box and a 7,5 kW-HSR dehumidifier, to dry a batch of 3 ha with a moisture content of over 30% in less than 35 hours. The data was provided by data loggers.

The diagram shows a continuous drying curve. It confirms our recommendations to dry to below 50% exhaust air moisture. In total, the values show a small, well-proportioned system, which operates with 30 A (15 kW) total power consumption (ventilator and dehumidifier) using recirculated air.

Note the curve of the humidity of the outside air. Values can reach 90% humidity. In a traditional drying process (cold ventilation with roof suction), no drying of the fodder would have taken place during the entire drying time.

What's even more sensational is that drying temperatures of 35°C were reached. Towards the end of the drying process, the outside temperature fell to 18°C. A temperature increase of 15°C without additional heating and hood suction towards the end of the drying process is remarkable with such a low power output.

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