It’s hay season! Are you in the market to purchase a baler? If you said yes, then we want to give you some things to consider when choosing the next baler for your operation.
- First, you need to determine what size bales you want. Do you want large square, small square or round bales? This will help you decide if you want a round or square baler. Keep in mind that a large square or round baler needs more tractor horsepower. Either one of these balers will come in handy if labor is limited.
- Pressed for time? Some new balers offer increased capacity that allows producers to bale faster which can be useful for bigger hay-baling operations. When talking to a dealer, make sure to ask how easy it is to run a baler behind your tractor and handle a bale. An expandable chamber baler allows changing bale sizes and makes denser bales for better stacking with less dry-matter loss.
- Do you prefer twine or net-wrap? Packaging is very important when it comes to what type of wrap a producer wants for their bales. If storing the bales outdoors it might be better to use net-wrap. For example, sisal twine (a type of wrap) can rot if used outdoors but will be fine if stored indoors. If the farmer wants to use twine and wants to store the bales outdoors, plastic twine would be the better choice. While some producers choose twine over net-wrap bales, the industry seems to be moving toward net-wrap only. Net-wrap is estimated to be 30-35% more productive than twine. It works best when stored on well-drained surfaces. Just know that no matter how the producer wraps the bales, storing and moving the bales while minimizing material loss is the goal they want to achieve to better their return on investment.
- When to purchase a baler? There isn’t a specific time to purchase a used or older model baler but if it’s new equipment you want, consider purchasing a new baler when farm income is down. Fewer buyers and less upward pressure on new machinery prices occur during those years.
- If purchasing a used baler, be on the lookout for caked on dirt, oil leaks, cracks, rust, faded paint, loose nuts, cracked belts and hoses and even one that’s had a fresh coat of paint applied to it. Beware of buying a baler from a manufacturer that’s gone out of business. Replacement parts will be harder to find and the trade in value will be less.
- What are you baling? From straw to hay and even silage, they have different densities and moisture levels. Knowing what you’re baling will help to determine what type of baler you purchase. For example, if you’re baling silage, a fixed chamber round baler is better since wet silage tends to cause the belts in a variable chamber round baler to slip. If you’re baling straw, a variable chamber round baler is a great pick as the belts pack the material in tightly and also produce bales with different diameters at will compared to the fixed chamber model.
- No matter what baler you choose, go with a manufacturer that has parts available nearby and a good dealer reputation.
Begin your search for the right baler for your operation at Fastline.com today!