When it's time to replace your hay baler with something new, you may find that one of the most difficult parts is searching through the large volume of hay balers that are available. Some hay balers are small and purely mechanical, being pulled by a tractor. Other hay balers can be driven without a tractor.
One of the biggest differences between hay balers is whether they are round or square. Round balers have become the most common option for forage equipment, but both types have their advantages. Round balers are able to be pulled by a tractor with a lower horsepower. Water is less likely to penetrate these types of tractors, so they are ideal for rainy climates. They are typically less expensive and cost less to maintain. The bales tend to have less mold, which is better for cattle.
Mini Round Balers
If you're a small farmer, you likely don't need much more than a mini round hay baler. These types of balers are easy to run and can navigate tight corners. Because of the lightweight nature of these balers, they can be pulled up hills and slopes very easily.
To some extent, square balers are more efficient because you do not have to stop to unwrap and unload. They are easier to stack. They are more effective if you have a hilly terrain. They are also easier to load onto trucks. Square balers can have a very high capacity, and the bales are easy to shape and stack. If you intend to sell your hay, you will have an easier time selling square bales.
Balers and Your Tractor
If you will be choosing a hay baler that will be pulled by your tractor, know the specifications of your tractor before purchasing the baler. The tractor must be capable of pulling the weight of your hay baler. The tractor must have the horsepower rating to handle your hay baler.
Choosing the Right Manufacturer and Model
Even if you've settled on a specific type of hay baler, you should also consider the manufacturer and model. Consider whether the replacement parts for the hay baler are often in stock and if you can easily purchase them. Also, consider how far the equipment will need to be shipped to reach your property. Depending on the distance, shipping costs can add a considerable amount to your initial investment. The right hay baler will be an investment that will pay for itself rapidly.