Friday, August 27, 2010

Farm Equipment Fridays: Round baler

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Last we left Farm Equipment Fridays, we had finished raking the hay into windrows.  Next comes the baler.
(This is a photo-heavy entry, so be a little patient.  I promise, it’s worth it!)

We use a round baler.  This equipment makes, you guessed it, bales of hay that are round.  There are other balers that make square bales.  We may talk about those later.  But, for now!  The round baler!
round baler for hay 1

The tractor drives over the newly raked windrows, and pulls the baler behind it.  The baler has a rake at the bottom that rakes up all the hay from the windrow and throws it inside the baler. 
round baler for hay 2

There are conveyer belts inside the baler that roll the hay around and around and around inside.  More hay gets added to the outside, sort of like a big snowball.  This whole time, the conveyer belts are packing the “hay ball” tight.
round baler for hay 3

When the baler is full, it beeps, and the tractor driver knows to stop.  A full baler has a bale of hay that is about 5-1/2 feet in diameter.
round baler for hay 4

Once the bale is made, it needs something to keep it together.  We use string, but other people use plastic.  The full bale is rolled around inside the baler some more, and the string is wrapped around the bale.  

Once the bale is wrapped, the back door of the baler opens, and the bale falls out.
round bale of hay 1

round bale of hay 2

round bale of hay 3

Pretty neat, huh?
round bale of hay 4

The baler has a bar that pushes the completed bale away from the back of the equipment, so the door can shut again.
round bale of hay 5

round bale of hay 6

The bale rolls away a little bit, the door closes, and the baler moves on!
round bale of hay 7

round bale of hay 8

round bale of hay 9

round bale of hay 10

And we are left with bales of hay scattered around our field. 
round hay bales in field

(Don’t worry, we’ll come back and pick them up later.)

Step 1 - Mower/conditioner
Step 2 - Tedder
Step 3 - Rake
Step 4 - Baler
Step 5 - Bale Spear


  1. I'm going to link your post to my post about picking the bales up! We should really team blog on this stuff! ;-) May all the bales stay on their mode of transportation until they get to their destination! (p.s. We use string too!)

  2. We bale about 400 bales a year and we have gone to surface wrap the guys say it keeps the hay from spoiling as much. Less waste the cows will eat more.

  3. Lana - thanks for the link. I saw your post last week and meant to link it up here. I'm posting about our bale spear next week for FEF. You had your own Farm Equip Thurs yesterday!

    Ann - You're right, the wrap does keep the hay from spoiling as much. We're lucky to have enough space to store our hay in the barn, so we don't have that problem. (Come back next week for some talk about that!)

  4. Hey there,

    I'm your newest follower from the New Friend Fridays Blog Hop.

    I would love it if you came by for a visit sometime.

    Thanks so much,


    The Things We Find Inside


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