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2 Freshly Baled Round Hay Bales
James Bo Insogna
Photograph - Fine Art Photography Prints
Many farmers, particularly those who feed large herds, have moved to balers which produce much larger bales, maximizing the amount of hay which is protected from the elements. Large bales come in two types, round and square. \\\"Large Square\\\" bales, which can weigh up to 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb), can be stacked and are easier to transport on trucks. Round bales, which typically weigh 300 to 400 kilograms (660-880 lb), are more moisture-resistant, and pack the hay more densely (especially at the center). Round bales are quickly fed with the use of mechanized equipment.
For animals that eat silage, a bale wrapper may be used to seal a round bale completely and trigger the fermentation process. It is a technique used as a money-saving process by producers who do not have access to a silo, and for producing silage that is transported to other locations. However, a silo is still a preferred method for making silage. In very damp climates, it is a legitimate alternative to drying hay completely and when processed properly, the natural fermentation process prevents mold and rot. Round bale silage is also sometimes called \\\"haylage\\\", and is seen more commonly in Europe than in either the USA or Australia. However, hay stored in this fashion must remain completely sealed in plastic, as any holes or tears can stop the preservation properties of fermentation and lead to spoilage.
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July 7th, 2011
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