How to Choose the Right Hay Bale Equipment

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( — February 7, 2018) — Whether you’re a smaller-scale farmer looking to invest in some mechanical equipment, or run a larger business and are thinking about upgrading your hay balers and hay bale equipment, it can be hard to choose.

Modern balers are available in dozens of types and sizes – and purchasing a new or pre-owned baler is a big investment. You want to make sure you choose the right hay bale equipment, and make back the most on your investment.

We’re here with a simple article that can help you determine which kind of baling equipment is right for you. Read on, and get the information you need to make the best decision.

Think About The Size And Shape Of Bale You Want To Make

There are two primary types of balers offered on the market today – round and square.

Round balers make large, “roll-like” bales of hay. These bales are now the most common on farms. Round bales have a number of advantages.

First, round balers can be run with lower-horsepower tractors. Round bales are also harder for water to penetrate, so they have better resistance to weather conditions. They can be stored outdoors for a prolonged period of time with no adverse effects. They also dry more quickly than rectangular bales, and round bales are easier to handle when using them for feeding purposes – they can be unrolled in large strips.

Round bales do have some disadvantages, though. They can’t be easily stacked, are not as attractive for resale, and can’t be easily loaded onto trucks. They are also not appropriate for sloped farms, as they can roll through fences and damage property.

Square balers make larger, square hay bales. Despite the name, these bales are usually rectangular in shape. Square bales are easy to handle and store, and can be stacked for storage. They can also be stored indoors, protecting them from sunlight and precipitation. They are easily marketable to horse owners, and are quite attractive for resale. They can be transported easily on trucks, as well.

However, square bales can’t be moved as easily as round bales. They require more manpower. Square bales also take longer to dry, which is a bad thing in moist climates. Rain also penetrates square bales very effectively, so they must be kept under a shelter, or preferably indoors. Finally, large square balers can cost up to 3x as much as round balers.

Consider The Size Of Your Farm

If you are a smaller-scale hobby farmer, or are a livestock farmer who is just beginning to grow crops, a small square baler is a good choice. They are inexpensive and easy to operate, and provide great results. Small square balers can be purchased that make bales that are about 40” long and weight somewhere between 45-60lbs. This means square bales can be moved around without mechanical assistance, and without requiring multiple workers.

Larger farms usually use round balers. Round bales can be left out in the rain and weather the elements well, and larger farms have the money to purchase mechanical hauling equipment that is necessary to move these round bales.

Another option for large farms is a large rectangular baler. Large rectangular bales are heavy and do require trucks or other mechanical equipment to move, but are more practical for indoor storage and resale. However, these large balers can be very expensive compared to round balers.

Consider Your Budget

A used small square baler can usually be purchased at anywhere from $1,000-7,500, and most of these balers are light enough to be run by any tractor.

Round balers tend to cost between $5,000-$15,000 used, and can go for more than $30,000 if they are brand new.

Large square balers are significantly more expensive, and usually only practical for large-scale agricultural farmers. A brand-new large square baler can cost in excess of $100,000, though used balers can be found for $20,000 or less, in some cases.

Consider These Factors – Pick The Right Farm Equipment For Your Needs

When choosing hay bale equipment, it’s important to take the time to make an informed decision. So think about how you can pick the right equipment for your needs, and get started with a new round or square baler!