Cattles, horses, pigs, goats, rabbits and sheep all need to eat, in fact, they eat a lot of food. One of the most prominent feeds of these animals is hay, and balers are farming equipments that are used to gather the cut hay from the windrow and it also compresses the hay into the desired form. The first stage of hay farming is the cutting which is usually done with a mowing machine when the hay crops are still green. As the mowing machine continues to cut, it crimps the forage and then discharges it into the windrow. There in the windrow, a hayrake is used to turn the hay so that the windrow can be completely dried, after which the hay baler does its work.
There are two main types of hay balers; cylindrical and rectangular. Each comes in various sizes and it bounds in twine, strapping, netting and wire.
Of the two types of hay balers we have, the cylindrical hay baler is the most common in many countries. It is called ‘cylindrical’ because it was designed to produce round or rolled bales. The grass is cut and rolled up inside the baler using either belts or a fixed roller, or a combination of the two. As soon as the bale reaches its predetermined size, the machinery automatically wraps netting or twine around the bale to maintain the shape.
Even though this type isn’t as common as the first, it still happens to be very popular in many countries. It produces rectangular bales of hays and after packing the hay in the desire quantity, it bounds it up with twine. Rectangular bales weigh more than the round bales because it is packed carefully. The rectangular bales are easier to transport than the round bales and they also save lots of space when compared to the round bales.
How the Hay Baler Works
The process of baling hay is a very detailed one; it requires precision to be able to get the best results. The very first thing a hay baler does is to pack the hay and organize it into swatches using a swatter and then it rakes multiple swathes together. This process continues until the hay is sufficiently dried, then the operator pulls the baler over to the swath and then the tines of the intake will pick the hay and feed it into the rollers.
After being fed into the rollers, the multiple set rollers compress the hay and then the swath moves back and forth, trying to create the same size of bale throughout the process. In many farms, there are preset bale sizes, and the only way to achieve this is to set the knotter to produce the desired sizes of bale.
After the bale has been created and shaped, there is a need to maintain the shape and to keep it from scattering. That’s the phase were the knotter wraps the bale with a plastic wrap but when plastic wraps are not available, the knotter ties the bale with a twine. Twines may not be very strong, so the operator needs to ensure that the bale is tied multiple times in order to get a good, strong shaped bale.