There is nothing prettier than looking out on a field of perfectly rolled hay bales. And no one appreciates a nicely rolled hay bale more than someone who has tried to do the job!
So what is the secret to perfectly formed hay bales? A large part of it involves making sure that the windrow of hay is evenly spread across the chamber of the bale. This even distribution also is the key to full bales. If the windrow of hay isn’t evenly distributed you will end up with a hay bale that is light in some places, and heavy in others.
While harvesting, always make sure that the windrows are matched to fit the bale chamber and are weaving accordingly. Creating an evenly distributed windrow is the result of making sure that the same amount of hay is under each belt. It also important to be familiar with the belts on your baler.
It also is essential that you are using the correct baler density settings. This ensures that your bales are tight. You may have to keep the tension just right by making adjustments to your twine or net. This will keep the bale from increasing in size when it is released. This isn’t just for aesthetic purposes, either. Increased bales size can lead to lost production.
One of the most common problems when it comes to hay baling is low density. When hay density is too low the shape and appearance is subpar. Here are some remedies to this problem:
Increase the target force. If the target force is too high you will need to decrease it or use stronger twine.
Consider installing additional side hay resistors on each side of the compression doors. Most experts recommend adding three to each side of the compression doors in addition to the resistors that are already installed.
Operate the baler between 30 to 60 strokes per bale. If you are having difficulty staying within this range you may need to rake more hay into the windrow. Other remedies include shifting gears up or decreasing PTO speed.
Finally, when baling hay keep the following tips in mind:
Moisture levels should not be too high or too low
The pickup height should follow the contour of the ground
Keep the baler as full as possible so that the bales roll as few times as possible in the baler
Continually monitor bay density and make adjustments as necessary
The perfect hay bales can seem impossible to master but with time, practice, and a little trial and error you will soon be a pro.