In Egypt, there are about 0.63 million hectares (1.5 million Feddans) cultivated area with
rice each year. This results in nearly 4 million tonnes of rice straw. In this study, two
methods of rice straw feeding were evaluated under field conditions using a rectangular
baler. These include the mechanical feeding at three forward speeds and manual feeding
at three feeding rates after harvesting with and without combine, respectively.
Measurements were taken for field topography after harvesting, straw moisture content,
tractor fuel consumption, baler productivity, bale density, energy requirements and the
total cost of baling for the two feeding methods. Results indicted that the most favorable
conditions in terms of the lowest energy requirements and the total cost for baling were
obtained with mechanical feeding after harvesting with combine at 4 km/h forward speed.
There were also significant differences between the two feeding methods and the baler
productivity, bale density, and the tractor fuel consumption.