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  1. #1

    Default Opinions Wanted - Small Round Baler

    I am curious what people think about small round balers (40-70 lb dry bales). These types of balers have been around for about 10 years but are brand new in the United States (imported from Italy). I have determined that the majority of interest lies within small farms such as those who have horses, alpaca, small numbers of sheep, etc. My main questions are, Do you find this type of equipment useful? Why or why not? I saw this type of baler at a farm show in Harrisburg and found it fascinating. The address as stated on the business card is WolagriUSA, Home To The Three Foot Round Baler. I am just very curious as to what people's opinions of this type of product are. Any comments welcome!

  2. #2
    Silver Member TillerofdaEarth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions Wanted - Small Round Baler

    Hi Beccs,

    Back in my youth, before the advent of big round and square balers, we did all of our feeding with standard square bales and loose hay. I much preferred using the loader and grapple fork on the loose hay, versus the 100 plus square bales of supplemental alfalfa we fed each day to 300 head head of cows.

    My question with the small round bale would be, could I load 55 of them on the back of a pickup and head out to the feeding area with out loosing the load? Storage is another question. Can the same amount of small round bales be stacked in the same amount of space as square bales?

    Also a square bale can be broke open, and just a couple of squares fed to a single animal. Not sure this would be so easy with a small round bale.

    I think if I had a choice between handling and feeding, I would have to stick with the square bales, over the round ones.
    If it ain't a BOEING, I ain't a going!

  3. #3
    Super Member N80's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions Wanted - Small Round Baler

    I think their utility would depend on how much hay you would be using. If you need a lower volume than large round bales but the need is higher than the effort required to move square bales around then they might be perfect. I have unloaded a trailer full (100) of the large square bales into a hay loft. They don't look that big or heavy but after about 20 of them they start getting heavier and more awkward real fast. So I think the small round bales would just have to fit your need. In other words, moving one small round bale around with a tractor might be a lot easier than moving 4 or 5 square bales around, especially if any of it would need to be done by hand.

    Also, I'd want to know if the small round bales last longer outside than square bales. I suspect they do, especially if they are baled in plastic wrap. I have seen small round bales competley wrapped in plastics (all the way around plus the sides).
    George
    South Carolina

    The size of government is inversely proprotional to the degree of freedom it affords.

    "What is truth?" Pontius Pilate

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    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Opinions Wanted - Small Round Baler

    Quote Originally Posted by Beccs82
    I am curious what people think about small round balers (40-70 lb dry bales). These types of balers have been around for about 10 years but are brand new in the United States (imported from Italy). I have determined that the majority of interest lies within small farms such as those who have horses, alpaca, small numbers of sheep, etc. My main questions are, Do you find this type of equipment useful? Why or why not? I saw this type of baler at a farm show in Harrisburg and found it fascinating. The address as stated on the business card is WolagriUSA, Home To The Three Foot Round Baler. I am just very curious as to what people's opinions of this type of product are. Any comments welcome!
    The particular round baler you're referring to has only been around for a relatively short life, but the concept of small rounds is an old one indeed. Allis Chalmers marketed the "Roto-Baler" way back when. ('40's? 1950's) A neighbor had one. They employed the same logic of todays bigger round bales. (Drop the in the field as you baled, and pick them up as needed, maybe even months later.) That concept worked well with beef cattle, but was of somewhat limited use to dairymen and horse owners. (Spoilage from weathering) With a 5' or 6' diameter X 4', 5' or 6' width, you only loose a small percentage of the bales volume to spoilage. With small diameter bales, that outer portion of the bale that weathered was nearly 1/4 of the bale. Too much loss for us old timers.....

    A problem with small rounds being picked up and stored in a barn is stacking them. Small squares lend themselves to stacking on wagons, trucks, or even in the barn.

    I'm sure there's a niche market for such a baler, just don't look for them to be highly successful commercially........ UNLESS.......they happen to be extremely cheap.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

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    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions Wanted - Small Round Baler

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmwithjunk

    That concept worked well with beef cattle, but was of somewhat limited use to dairymen and horse owners. (Spoilage from weathering) With a 5' or 6' diameter X 4', 5' or 6' width, you only loose a small percentage of the bales volume to spoilage. With small diameter bales, that outer portion of the bale that weathered was nearly 1/4 of the bale. Too much loss for us old timers.....


    .
    That's what my neighbors tell me. Three of my nearest neighbors have horses and they won't touch round bales. In fact, my neighbor on the North fence should be getting her shipment of hay any day now. She buys a truckload of square bales at a time (double bottom hay truck) for her animals. I get a kick out of watching the Oregon Roadrunner (hay squeeze) unload the truck/trailer and stack the load in the barn. Gotta get behind the wheel of one of those goofy looking things sometime because it looks like a lotta fun.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member daTeacha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions Wanted - Small Round Baler

    We use small square bales -- they stack nice in the barn, are relatively easy to handle, especially grass. Alfalfa can get a bit heavy for the wife, but this year we got a large square bale of alfalfa -- 4 x 4 x 10 feet or so. The guy figured it weighs about a ton. The quality of the western hay inside the bale is way better than the locally grown alfalfa in small square bales, but I think that's more a reflection of the ability to totally control water in an almost constantly sunny landscape out west vs. taking what you get here in Ohio.

    The small rounds would seem to be more of a pain than a help, mostly from the stacking perspective. If you wrap them like giant marshmallows, then you have the cost of the plastic and the disposal problem, whereas with squares, you can either put 'em tightly in the barn or stack them on pallets and put a tarp over them outside pretty easily. Carrying on a truck or trailer is another issue.

    I guess I'll side with the majority here and suggest you stick with small squares unless there is some real strong economic reason to go the other way.
    Rich
    300 hours on the DX29, 850 on the JD 240 and too many to count on the Cadet
    Funk, Ohio

  8. #8
    Super Member N80's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions Wanted - Small Round Baler

    There is a large haying operation near me. My daughter is friends with his daughter but I don't know him personally. From what I can see from the road, he bales small round bales, completely wrapped in plastic and he ships them in typical, enclosed 18 wheeler trailers. I don't know what is in them (alfalfa, whatever?), where he sends them or who is buying them but its a big operation and he seems to be making a lot of money with it (big house, nice cars, trucks, tractors, barn, pool, etc.)

    I'm curious, how small of a bale can you kick out of a standard large round baler?
    George
    South Carolina

    The size of government is inversely proprotional to the degree of freedom it affords.

    "What is truth?" Pontius Pilate

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    Gold Member TrippleT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions Wanted - Small Round Baler

    I think the one plus would be that it could be pulled with a compact tractor.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Opinions Wanted - Small Round Baler

    I think the small round bales would be a pain to handle, stack, store, transport etc unless there is a specific handling system. 55 small squares will fit on a pickup but you need to tie them or drive slow. Most I ever got for small squares on a pickup truck was about 90 bales and that was using the cab and tailgate for stacking area. Was 8 or 9 tiers high and we couldn't get under the power line at the farm.

    The only use I can see for a small round bale is unrolling it to feed, but normal round balers do the same thing and are much cheaper. You could buy a 4x4 rounder and only make 4x3 foot bales that weigh around 300-400 lbs. Even a small tractor can move that size.

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