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Picking up small square bales


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#1 filshill

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 11:57 AM

I have been considering the many options out there to pick up bales. I make about 5000 50lbs+ bales per season on 90 acres here in the south of Chile. 400 to 1200 per day conditions allowing. I cut with a Kuhn 4 disc mower, rake with a Lely rotary 18 ft rake, and bale with a Massey 570. We bale a mix of grasses with a lot of rye and clover mostly. Right now i pick by hand with a second tractor 2 or 3 flat wagon train and crew. Some fields are flat but others not so. I have looked at videos of accumulators, bale throwers, self powered bale wagons, and the variety of front loader attachments. I always thought a flat trailer behind the baler is cheap and simple but still need two guys in the back.

#2 mlappin

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 12:19 PM

When we were still making small squares, we used thrower wagons. If you've never seen one it's simply a flatrack with tall sides. The biggest ones could easily hold 250, we had four of those and two smaller ones that could hold 200. So if I was by myself I could bale 1400, pull the wagons home and park em in the barn till help was available to unload. Accumulators and grapples were out of the question for us as 90% of our hay was stacked in mows.

A person gets very good at keeping their own knotters in tip top working condition or you could end up waste deep in broken bales when unloading the wagons.

#3 dubltrubl

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 07:06 PM

I always thought a flat trailer behind the baler is cheap and simple but still need two guys in the back.


With a cheap labor pool I'm sure your correct. A dependable labor pool is a different issue though. I had access to a cheap one, but not a dependable one, hence the money outlay for an accumulator. I rationalized it this way. Suppose I cut and bale 600-700 bales. It's now laying in the field waiting to be picked up. A normal field price around here is around $4.50, more if it's in the barn. That crop now represents nearly $3000. If it gets rained on because my crew doesn't show, or only part of it shows, I have lost the crop, or nearly all of it, plus expenses growing and harvesting it. It doesn't take very many times for this to happen to offset the accumulator and grapple cost. I've found I can rely on me, but not a pick-up crew so now when the time is right for me, I bale. Might be something for you to consider.
Steve

#4 filshill

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 01:09 AM

crew is very unreliable around here but when they do show up the going labour rate is 20 US cents a bale picked up and stored but i have had years when he bales got wet because of missing crew. I sell the bales for about $2 to $3 depending on the season. I think my option is between a bale thrower attachment and corresponding wagon vs an accumulator and graple.

#5 filshill

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 01:17 AM

what do you mean by "bales stacked in mows"

#6 hayray

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 01:27 PM

If you can get bales picked up and stacked for $.20 per bale you are doing good, doubt any other purchased method will be cheaper unless you are like some of these guys who are doing a couple thousand bales a day then it may justify purchasing a mechanical pick up like bale wagons or accumulators, trucks, tele handlers and the like. Even with bale baskets which require no labor to unload and are faster and cheaper then kicker set ups I still average around $.38/bale for truck drivers hauling wagons and crew stacking.

#7 fletcher.419

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 05:09 PM

Well we are miles apart but we use a New Holland 1033 stackliner and a Bobcat 863 with a Steffen 6502 hay grapple w/ a rotator and a extension. The stackliner will give you a stack of 104 bales with tie or 105 without, in 15 bale lifts on edge. The Bobcat w/ the grapple will load trailers with 15 on edge or 12 flat depending on your customers trailers.You will cut your labor cost, liabilities and get your hay inside where it belongs, so you can put money back in you pocket. Undesirable part time help, will break you and suck up every bit of ambition you might of had if your hay gets diminished or ruined because of rain. It is easier to get a few good dependable guys than a pack of whatevers - just the way i do it and good luck.

#8 Rodney R

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 06:01 PM

what do you mean by "bales stacked in mows"


He means the hay is stacked inside, I assume sort of barn. The 'mow' is not pronounced the way it is when you cut (or mow) hay. That would be the long pronunciation of the vowel, and when he talks about stacking hay it is the short pronunciation - sorta said like mauw.....

Rodney

#9 mlappin

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 06:16 PM

Yah, alot of the very old barns in the area are two story, cattle in the bottom, hay in the top. Might have an aisle or two in the middle with no mow for equipment storage.

#10 will

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 12:10 PM

I was having to pay a crew around .50 per bale to get hay picked up and put in the barn. Our excessive heat and humidity in TN was extremely hard on the crew and reliability was another issue. Now that we run the Kuhns 15 bale system, our crew consists mainly of two people and sometimes three. We get more done with less stress and about 66% less help. Just the labor savings will pay for my system in 2 years.




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