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Mastering the Art of Hay Production: The Role of Baler Twine

Why baler twine plays a crucial role in hay production

As a hay or straw producer, you know quality products are vital for your livestock. Efficient baling ensures quality products and the key player in this process is a humble hero: baler twine.

What is baler twine?

What exactly is ‘baler twine? Baler twine is a heavy-duty string used in balers to automatically tie up both rectangular and round hay and straw bales.

Types of baler twine: what are your choices?

Baler twine material can be synthetic polypropylene (a type of plastic) or natural fibre. Polypropylene twine is extremely durable for bales stored outdoors, while natural fibre twine degrades quickly and is more suitable for low-duty bales stored on pallets and indoors. A third option, twine made from recycled materials gives you the best of both worlds.

.....natural fibre twine degrades quickly .....
How to choose baler twine

When choosing the best twine, consider your crop type, the end use, baling and storage conditions as well as transportation.

The ideal strength of baler twine to be used depends on the bale density, crop (forage or straw), baling conditions (e.g. extreme heat and dry crops) and baling method – is round baler twine needed or will small rectangular bales be produced?

For large square baling use our colour rating system to select the baler twine that best fits your needs. Match the duty rating to the production parameters listed above.

Some points to note when choosing plastic baler twine:
  • Well-twisted twine performs better in knotting mechanisms, reducing knot failures.
  • Very thick twine makes it hard for the billhook to make secure knots, resulting in short tails or twine getting tangled, leading to knotter damage.
  • If minimising baling interruptions is your goal, focus on twine performance over price. It’s the cost of the bale vs productivity (i.e. how many bales per hour, with no breakages) you should be focusing on.
  • Compare the actual length of the twine on the spool packaging; purchase by length, not by weight. A modern twine may be very strong and also very light, so a lighter spool will produce just as many bales as a heavier spool you may be used to.
Netwrap vs baler twine: what’s better?

Choosing baler twine over netwrap (for your round bales) makes good economic sense. However, twine doesn’t provide the same weather protection and durability. Twine-wrapped bales tend to lose their shape and degrade faster than netwrapped bales, especially when exposed to inclement weather or frequent handling. In addition, baling round bales with netwrap is faster than when using round baler twine.

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