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Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales

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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote


I admire your setup... Looks nice.

I think either system can work well... depending on your conditions and such.
 
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larbear
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Is the cost of twine or wrap a factor. One of the last years I did small squares I spent over 800$ on sisal twine, with the rounds I do at 5x5 I don't think I would use
300$ for the same volume of hay. That's twine not wrap.
 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I'm a one man show with the hay,its either round bales or no bales.
 
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Texas Cowboy
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote

In 2 hours baling good hay I can easily bale 100 bales. 4x5.5 net wrap bales. Tony
 
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caterpillar guy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:28 am    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We used to do all versions of hay back in the 70's/80's with loose hay blown in the barn mow,little square bales with lots of help and work, then round bales setting out side. The loose hay blown in the old barn was the easiest to feed for us. The next was round bales. Squares took the most labor to make store and feed. The loose hay was a one man job load and unload without hitching all day. Could get about the same hay in as the neighbor with 8-10 people working. Round bales here are stored inside in the same oil barn mow as the loose hay was and we put about the same or more hay in as the loose was. 2 people for putting in otherwise 1 for the rest of it. We used to put up about 100 acres per year with 2-4 cuttings and squares were the slowest most labor intensive method to do it. We also chopped wet hay for haylage and bagged it for the most of the first cutting then blow some in the barn. With a regular flat rack wagon or trailer round bales can be hauled rather fast. I load 20-40 on my semi or about 12-15 on a wagon. depending on the weather and quantity I have done both no hay sets outside here for more than the hauling time. I usually have round bales in the next day or same day depending on weather and amount to bale.
 
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Jim.ME
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:23 am    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Not agreeing, disagreeing, or arguing with you, but I have a few thoughts on your comparison. First is you have an established method, crew, and equipment which are set up to handle, and store, small squares, which is a good thing for you. While you dealt with them because of a breakdown, you are not set up in an equivalent manner to handle round bales, so I have to believe you were in somewhat of a learning curve and not as efficient as your squares operation is. You borrowed a spear and could have had wagons in the field to load rounds directly onto. Loading direct onto wagons (trucks, trailers, etc.) when you gathered them would have been nearer equal to your squares being loaded on wagons direct from the baler. You could have had one person shuttling full ones to the barn and unloading, if set up for maximum handling (like you do with the squares).
By gathering rounds at the end of the field and loading at a different time you added a step. I am not sure your thoughts on building a huge windrow by raking multiple passes is a real time saving over less time raking and traveling at a higher ground speed while baling. To me a bigger saving would be using a vee rake to make a big windrow in one pass and save raking time for either baler.

In general I don't think there is a real right, wrong, or best way. It all comes down to what works for anyone and the equipment they choose to have. Equipment does cost, but if you have to deal with non-family help where wages, taxes, risk of an on the job injury of an employee (insurance) really come into play; a mechanized operation can be more attractive. You may find if your help dries up in years to come, that rounds will be more attractive to you, just as they have become to some others.
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:52 am    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CVPost-caterpillar guy wrote:
(quoted from post at 03:28:22 10/14/21) We used to do all versions of hay back in the 70's/80's with loose hay blown in the barn mow,little square bales with lots of help and work, then round bales setting out side. The loose hay blown in the old barn was the easiest to feed for us. The next was round bales. Squares took the most labor to make store and feed. The loose hay was a one man job load and unload without hitching all day. Could get about the same hay in as the neighbor with 8-10 people working. Round bales here are stored inside in the same oil barn mow as the loose hay was and we put about the same or more hay in as the loose was. 2 people for putting in otherwise 1 for the rest of it. We used to put up about 100 acres per year with 2-4 cuttings and squares were the slowest most labor intensive method to do it. We also chopped wet hay for haylage and bagged it for the most of the first cutting then blow some in the barn. With a regular flat rack wagon or trailer round bales can be hauled rather fast. I load 20-40 on my semi or about 12-15 on a wagon. depending on the weather and quantity I have done both no hay sets outside here for more than the hauling time. I usually have round bales in the next day or same day depending on weather and amount to bale.


Loose hay blown into the mow?

That is interesting. Chopped? Or, just loose hay?

A friend of my father used to blow chopped bedding into his hayloft. That was a really inexpensive and fast way to make/store/use bedding.

But loose hay? Blown without chopping? And without unhitching? How? I'm not understanding.
 
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tomstractorsandtoys
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:01 am    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I do both and find with the biggest advantage to the round bale is I can do it all myself. It takes about the same amount of time either
way but I have very limited labor to unload and stack bales in the barn. We have a 4x4 baler and have sold a good many to horse people as
two fit in a truck bed and can be rolled of fairly easy. Tom
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Jim.ME... I get everything you're saying. When my neighbor bales for himself, somedays he's a one man show. If he has a long haul back home, he hires a couple people to help, and they do just what you're saying... they get a couple bale wagons and bring them into the field and they start running a ferry back to his farm where there is another tractor with a bale spear waiting to unload. They can get a lot of hay done in a hurry.

Funny thing is... I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong"... this neighbor and I... we take advantage of each other's operations and work together.

I rent 160 acres of hay ground. There is a big (by local standards) 60 acre field and another 25 acre field in that. We can't get to it for first cut. He comes over in June or July and mops those fields up in a hurry. But to do so? He has equipment that I can't afford. Plain and simple. Then, later in the summer; when we're done with first cut... we do one for second cut and graze the other.

In the mean time, with our smaller equipment, I'm spending June and July baling smaller fields and what I call "The second-third" of the pasture. (This is my own rotational grazing concept... which would take a small book to explain...)

His round bale operation enables my small square/rotational grazing operation and vice-versa.
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:18 am    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Tony... here is how I think about that...

100 bales 4 x 5.5... let's say they weigh 850 pounds? For argument's sake.

Let's say that "good" hay is about 2 tons per acre.

At that rate... you'll get 2.35 bales per acre.

So, to get 100 bales, you'll need to cover... 100/2.35

Or 42.6 acres.

If you are baling 18 feet of swath... you need to go 43560/18 .....or 2,420 feet to get an acre.

If you are baling 20 feet of swath... you need to go 2,117 feet to get an acre.

So... at 18 feet, you are travelling 2,420 X 42.6 = 103,092 feet
in two hours... or... 19.5 miles.

Now... we can start talking about how fast you must be travelling...

You're baling at somewhere around 10 miles an hour on 18 feet of swath?

Or you're baling at 9 miles an hour on 20 feet of swath?

Or you're going 5 miles an hour on 36 feet of swath?


None of that happens with a baler that is comparable to a small square baler, in size or cost. That happens with a big, big machine... you need to compare that machine to a big square baler.
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:26 am    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote

https://www.fwi.co.uk/machinery/speedy-round-balers-krone-v-deere

These things ARE fast... but no mention of how much swath they raked for them or how big the tractor is... or how fast they travelled... but it's interesting...
 
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Bruce from Can.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:35 am    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote

This year I have made over 2,400 4x4 round bales, in first ,
second and third cuts also straw behind a late model rotary
combine. My stare bales I weighed, cause I was paying 4
cents a pound for the straw, and they averaged 526 lb. Most
of my hay was made high moisture and shrink wrapped to
ferment into silage. The dry bales I made weighed well over
600lb. The wet bales 1,000 lb or more.
I run a Vee rake and with a single pass can put 22 feet of hay
into a wind row, at a ground speed between 5-10 mph,
depending on how smooth the field is. I almost never have
issues with my tractor not being able to go over the wind row.
The the fastest I have ever baled hay was a field of first cut,
dry hay, very consistent crop all across the field. Travelling at
6.5 mph, I made 72 4x4 bales per hour. Normally I dont travel
faster than 5 mph, and usually get 40-45 bales per hour in first
cut. It only requires 12 seconds to stop the tractor, let the net
automatically wrap on the bale, discharge the bale, and
continue forward motion. There isnt any square small square
balers that I have seen that can match this kind of capacity.
As for moving hay, I have a 32 foot wagon, and can load 30
4x4 bales of dry hay or straw in one trip , by myself. Load and
und load. One tractor, one wagon, one man. Most of my hay
goes into a in-line wrapper, wet or dry. And the wrapper can
wrap the bales as fast as I can unload the wagon. Yes there is
capital cost in ownership of a wrapper, but I can resell the
wrapper if I choose to stop making hay, cannot resell a hay
barn very well. Plastic wrap cost me $1.50 per bale, net wrap
cost near to $2.00 per bale. Zero issues with mice chewing off
bale strings while hay is in storage.
I often just wrap hay on the edge of a field where the bales
were made, they keep just as well there, and save time
hauling from distant fields during haying season. I have all
winter to fetch hay as needed.
I can and do stack bales 3 high on the ends in my old bank
barns with a skid steer. Again all alone. No BS looking for
help, or being let down by young lads that cant put in a days
work.
Small square bales were a step above loose hay, and a vast
improvement over picking up hay with a fork, or hay loader,
and hauling it to the barn to pitch it in the mow, but are not
even in the same league as a modern round baler.
 
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JayinNY
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I think the biggest factor with small squares versus round bales is the end-user what they intend to use it for,
we could never use round bales on the horse farms I worked at no way to get them in a 275 foot long barn, you
cant use them at the race tracks, ect.



Dumping round bales in a bale feeder for cows to eat outside its a lot quicker than using small squares, each has their
place,
 
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Jim.ME
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:28 am    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote

lastcowboy32 wrote:
(quoted from post at 10:18:26 10/14/21)
Tony... here is how I think about that...

100 bales 4 x 5.5... let's say they weigh 850 pounds? For argument's sake.

Let's say that "good" hay is about 2 tons per acre.

At that rate... you'll get 2.35 bales per acre.

So, to get 100 bales, you'll need to cover... 100/2.35

Or 42.6 acres.

If you are baling 18 feet of swath... you need to go 43560/18 .....or 2,420 feet to get an acre.

If you are baling 20 feet of swath... you need to go 2,117 feet to get an acre.

So... at 18 feet, you are travelling 2,420 X 42.6 = 103,092 feet
in two hours... or... 19.5 miles.

Now... we can start talking about how fast you must be travelling...

You're baling at somewhere around 10 miles an hour on 18 feet of swath?

Or you're baling at 9 miles an hour on 20 feet of swath?

Or you're going 5 miles an hour on 36 feet of swath?


None of that happens with a baler that is comparable to a small square baler, in size or cost. That happens with a big, big machine... you need to compare that machine to a big square baler.


A note of correction: 2 tons is 4000 pounds, divided by 850 pounds is 4.7 bales per acre, not 2.35. 100/4.7 would only require about 21.28 acres needing to be covered.

This post was edited by Jim.ME on 10/14/2021 at 09:31 am.

 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:39 am    Post subject: Re: Unofficial Time Study of Small Squares vs Round Bales Reply to specific post Reply with quote

[quote="Jim.ME"](quoted from post at 09:28:29 10/14/21) [quote="lastcowboy32"](quoted from post at 10:18:26 10/14/21)

Jim.ME.... thanks...

I did it in my head, roughly and came up with what you did.

Then I sat down and used a calculator to make the post... because I didn't want to say anything wrong... When the calculator came up as it did... I though... oh well... must have done it wrong in my head.

So, yeah... it makes a lot more sense now that you double-checked... because the ground speeds I came up with were FAST... Smile
 
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