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I have a Vermeer 504R Classic baler, do approx 1200 bales x year custom work. Ive never baled soybean chaff before but had a guy call me last week. Is soybean chaff hard on baler belts similar to corn stalks if I dont have a baler designed for them?? What about all the dust taking it's toll on the chains & bearings??
 

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I bale soybean straw in large quantities. I consider it to be a little less hard on a baler overall than cornstalks, but it is certainly worse than hay. The belts won’t show much abuse, with one caveat that I will come back to. Dust won’t affect the bearings; they are sealed. Unsealed joints should be lubed more often and more heavily. Chains, it depends. If there is no soil dust getting stirred up, the chains will be little worse off than hay. Problem is, to get bean straw picked up very completely it is pretty much impossible to do so without getting some soil involved.

Regarding belts. For some reason, bean straw is thee very worst crop I have ever baled for pushing belts around when the core is first forming. If the windrows are narrower than the bale chamber, a great deal of caution and an aggressive weave is necessary to prevent the belts from getting pushed around, then on top of each other, and in the worst case flipping. An inept operator can wreck belts in a hurry in bean straw.
 

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2 years ago, I baled about 80 bales of 4x5 bean stubble. It was very dry. I didn't notice any problems. Windrow was macthed to the baler so no weaving necessary. I didn't noticed anything screwy going on with the belts. I used JD467 with fairly new belts. I might have got lucky. My chains were new and well lubed. Wrapped just fine as well. Cows weren't too crazy about it but the guy lost a major hay field and wanted some backup.
 

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Thank you guys, VERY helpful......
Soy straw was the very first thing I had ever baled with a round baler last year. We do about 60 a year as roughage for our fat cattle.
Raked with a rotary following a CIH combine with only a spreader, no chopper. No dirt in the windrow.
The salesman rode with me for several bales and made the comment that he'd never seen anything take the paint off the chamber that fast; he had years of round baling under his belt, but no bean straw. I doubt that bean straw is as hard on the components as corn stalks.Next year I'd like to try taking the spreader off the combine if there is a good drying window forecast. Didn't do it this year because we were cutting around to get the dry beans and coming back to get the rest.
 
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