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65 pound small squares....really?

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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:46 am    Post subject: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Back when DHI (the Dairy Herd Improvement) organization started becoming common, my father got in the program. One of the things that they did when they came to the farm for the initial visit, was to have us weigh a few bales of hay and take forage samples.

That was eye-opening. As kids, we used to always talk about how heavy the bales were (they got really heavy on summer days when haying went to midnight).

But were they really? According to the DHI scales, they weighed about 38 pounds on average. Now, my brother who did the baling never made long, long bales; but they look not much different than what I see posted on Facebook groups by people selling horse hay.

The ads invariably say "65 pound bales" and "dry" and "mold free"

I really just want to go there with a spring scale and find out.

The last time that I bought hay myself, was by the ton. It was dairy grade alfalfa second cut. Bought it from a friend of the family. He weighed his tractor and wagon empty; then weighed them full on the way to my farm. He and I, out of curiosity did a little math on the weight and the number from his bale counter. Over 3000 bales of hay, we calculated an average of 46 pounds.

Now, I HAVE picked up some bales that we used to call "mud bales" that you get when you bale out some frog hole in the middle of the field. Those bales could honestly weigh 65 pounds, or even more.

I'm curious, has anyone here made true 65 pound bales of perfectly dry hay? If so, how long are those suckers? Because the pictures that I see in these Facebook ads don't show bales that look nearly long enough to be 65 pounds, unless they're made of cement.
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:54 am    Post subject: Re: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Full disclosure: I'm NOT in the market for hay. We have more in the barn this year than we could ever use (for once).

This is strictly a curiosity.
 
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Case Nutty 1660
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:13 am    Post subject: Re: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I used to bale 120,000-150,000 small squares a year, I ran two NH SP balers, and a model 78NH as well all big chambered balers,, I averaged 70lbs on them no problem, 10-12% moisture, and yes I used scales to weigh them also but always liked to run over the scales to be sure,, if you know how to properly setup a baler you can put out a very uniform bale in both length and weight which was Very important to me as I stacked them all with a bale wagon. Those were string balers but I also have a wire tie,, it will put out 80-100 lb bales if you want them that heavy I do not so I shorten them to stay in the 70-80 lb range, in grain hay the weight goes up
cnt
 
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SHALER
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CNT, you are stating you use large chambered balers - I guess that is 16x18 and not what some consider "standard " 14x18 size? Anyway, I am interested to see if anyone chimes in on this topic that uses a 14x18 baler and string tie. While wire ties are almost nonexistent in my area of the east, I know 14x18 wire ties can be done at 70lbs and greater.
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:04 am    Post subject: Re: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CVPost-Case Nutty 1660 wrote:
(quoted from post at 09:13:32 11/29/17) I used to bale 120,000-150,000 small squares a year, I ran two NH SP balers, and a model 78NH as well all big chambered balers,, I averaged 70lbs on them no problem, 10-12% moisture, and yes I used scales to weigh them also but always liked to run over the scales to be sure,, if you know how to properly setup a baler you can put out a very uniform bale in both length and weight which was Very important to me as I stacked them all with a bale wagon. Those were string balers but I also have a wire tie,, it will put out 80-100 lb bales if you want them that heavy I do not so I shorten them to stay in the 70-80 lb range, in grain hay the weight goes up
cnt


That's all interesting. That also answers a little curiosity that I've had over the years. I could have sworn that I've seen pictures either in "Farm Journal" or other magazines or online of "small squares" that were just a little bigger than your average "small square."

It doesn't really apply to what I'm talking about, though. In the ads that I see, many of them post pictures of the baling process. They're baling with "regular" balers (NH 315...575...etc), not big- chambered balers.

The pictures also show all string tie bales.
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:11 am    Post subject: Re: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


I get what you mean about "grain hay" as well. We bought straw a couple of years back. It was sold with the oats still on it. When we went to pick it up, the seller told us that his custom combine operator had a breakdown and never made it back to his place in time to harvest; so he just mowed and baled the ripe oats with the grain still in place.

Those were DENSE bales. I still don't think they were 65 pounds, though.

Side note: That "straw" was an excellent buy. I ran the bales through the bedding chopper upstairs in the hayloft. I would do thirty of them once a week. Once they were chopped, I used a wide-tined fork to move the pile next to the hole where I dropped bedding into the stable.

I then swept the floor with a broom into another pile.

We had bedding all winter long, and we had "threshed" oats for our milkers when they freshened in March.

Bedding chopper = poor man's thresher
 
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Farmallb
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:17 am    Post subject: Re: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

40lb bales are fine, thank you. My dad said that they used to make them 100lbs ea, and the bailer man would bring scales with him to weigh them. I wonder how many guys on the wagon got killed when 4 100lb bales pulled through the forks when the pulley went into the carrier?
I know where a Case 3 wire bailer stationery, is.
 
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Case Nutty 1660
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:33 am    Post subject: Re: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Yes I am talking the 16x18 as the big chamber balers,, I also have the small chamber ones, in grass hay the 50 lb range is common,, I do make 250-800 straw bales a year to sell to the local Coop,, they averaged 44 lbs this year, this is a small chamber baler, I bale them as tight as I can without the strings breaking
cnt


 
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rrlund
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:37 am    Post subject: Re: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We always figured that in reality,they were around 40 pounds,so that puts your 38 pound average about on the mark.
 
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paul
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:51 am    Post subject: Re: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We live in a wet climate, wet ground, rains every 3 days in late spring, and those 'mid bales' are all too common here. Hay is the waste ground
you can't farm because it's too wet in spring.....

So, yes it sure isn't good hay, but growing up I stacked many 65lb bales with dad driving....... then stack them with room to breath in the barn.....

Thankfully now have a round baler to bale that low quality stuff, and hope for some real good second cutting small squares.

I believe out west they make 'small squares' that are three string and packed much tighter, in an arid climate?

Paul
 
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DeltaRed
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:23 am    Post subject: Re: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I do a lot of custom baleing. I use a CaseIH 8530 inline,usually pulled with a 826 hydro. I have one customer who INSISTS on the bles being 60lbs.I bought a scale and I weigh them till I get 60 lbs. And check them every round or so.At the saME IME ,NO PROBLEM ON GETTING 70-80 POUNDERS EITHER.I sometimes have trouble getting the wt down to 40/50 lbs.However,when baleing bone dry grass,about 50 lbs is average.
 
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D beatty
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:58 am    Post subject: Re: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

When we milk we baled with a JD 14T and baled alfalfa hay and baled a 60 to 65 lb. bale and straw about a 35 lb. bale. We could have baled heavier but keep
weight down so mom and wife could move bales if they needed to.
 
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ArleninOr
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We bale with a 14x18 John Deere and a Hesston inline. 60 lbs is our avg. These are grass hay and 36 inch bales. Have no problem getting bales that will weigh more but don't because our customers do not want over 60 lbs. Set up and windrow size matter.
 
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Dick L
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:24 pm    Post subject: Re: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

35 to 40 bales are fine for me as well thank you. (:^D. However I am now feeding off 4'X 3'x 8' bales. I don't know what they weigh but the strings really pop when I cut them. I feed them a flake at a time with the loader.
 
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farmerwithmutt
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:58 pm    Post subject: Re: 65 pound small squares....really? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

The amish bale wet then take it in cut the
strings and put it through the chopper .
Seen one run it through a blower with knives
then blow it into a bagger . For some reason
they only stack three high on the wagon. I
can only imagine what that does to the baler
 
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