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Back in the day we used twine and a one of them yellow handled curved blade carpet knives (we called it a banana knife) always worked great for us, and less chance of it going through a tire if you lost it (skinny blade) we use net wrap now, although only for our horses... (40 bales a year) I made a single bale pipe feeder and I drop the bale on end outside the feeder grab the end and walk around a couple times, ball the wrap up and throw in in the tractor, scoop the bale up with the forks underneath and dump it in the top of the feeder... works fine for me.
Linoleum knife. I used to use the wooden handle ones but now buy the plastic handle knife with the serrated edge. Every farm vehicle I own has some in them. After you cut the twine, wrap it around the handle and you can get a good pull on it if needed. Plus they are good for cutting air seeder hose in the spring and digging up seed in the ground.

Canadian Tire will have them on sale for 5 bucks.
 

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Interesting comment made, "If you move a bale and try to take the net off a few days later it's a different story".


What's the working theory here???
 

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Interesting comment made, "If you move a bale and try to take the net off a few days later it's a different story".


What's the working theory here???
The bottom of the bale doesn't freeze if its just sitting in the stack so when you move the bale the bottom is where the most moisture is and the net wrap will freeze into it and you'll never get it out. This isn't such a big deal on new bales but I just finished feeding 2015 hay theres a little more spoilage on the bottom.
 

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Can you remove it once the bale is in a hay feeder? And is the bale vertical or horizontal?

Your last idea is a very good one, have a bunch of bales doing just that right now.
no I stand them on end, cut the wrap, pull it off and then lift into the bale feeder with a grapple. we only switched to wrap a couple years ago but so far haven't had much issue with getting it off 2 yr old bales. we stack everything in single rows on the ground. aside from one day with some freezing rain I haven't had much issue with wrap sticking or pulling big gobs of hay off. One asterix might be that while we had piles of rain in 16, neither of the last 2 winters have had a lot of snow, so never have had more than a couple inches sitting on the bales.
 

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Part of the difference is that we don't typically get much moisture late summer and fall to damage the bales, then after freeze up, bales stop weathering almost entirely. The extremely wet fall of 2016 was certainly an exception, there was a lot of damage to the bales since they were continuously wet all fall.
Thanks for the reply. I hadn't thought of that. Here the hay is always at a nice temperature for any rain to start things growing and rotting.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Reading the replies on here, I'm beginning to think our winter conditions are somewhat unique. We get more snow than most. And almost daily, and rarely less than once week we get positive temperatures throughout the winter., then back to -20, or -30 or -40. Had a 40 degree C temperature swing within 24 hours a while back. The snow almost melts, then freezes to solid ice, then adds another layer. It runs down the twines all the way to the bottoms, some years you can't pick up a bale off the ground without leaving all the twines and half the bale frozen to the ground.
 

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We use square bales here, except for occasionally getting a few round bales from a neighbor. So I was just curious about a couple of things. Does anybody tarp their round bales? Most square bale stacks around here have tarps, but I never see round bales tarped. Also aren't net wrapped bales supposed to shed moisture better so there is less spoilage?
 

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Discussion Starter #28
We use square bales here, except for occasionally getting a few round bales from a neighbor. So I was just curious about a couple of things. Does anybody tarp their round bales? Most square bale stacks around here have tarps, but I never see round bales tarped. Also aren't net wrapped bales supposed to shed moisture better so there is less spoilage?
That is the theory behind netwrap, the moisture follows the wrap down, instead of soaking into the bale in the gap between twines.

We tried tarping round bales a few times. They can be a lot of fun to remove when the snow drifts deep enough, and keeping them on in big winds was always a challenge. With the short lives of the tarps, it was hard to justify economically.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I just reread looking for better ideas. What a nightmare twines are this year, right from day one, they have been frozen on, almost all the way around. Had copious amounts of freezing rain, and multiple events, then lots of wild temperature swings with snow on the bales. Even the bales stacked vertically have frozen twines.

I've been tossing the bales off the loader a couple times, then after placing in the feeder, run the bale fork through just under the twines and try to break the ice. It is so thick and strong, that it picks up the entire bale by the twines, and requires a lot of shaking and abuse to get the ice to break with the entire weight of the bale hanging off them.

Fed a lot of net wrap fine straw bales (underseeded) last year. Still not impressed. I was using the track hoe, and just setting them in feeders over the fence from where they were stacked. First I stood them up, on end for a week or two before feeding, Then had to take the extra step of setting them on the ground, unwrapping, then picking up what didn't fall apart and setting it in the feeder. The track hoe thumb is powerful enough to crush the bales, and bust all the ice, which helped massively. After squishing, the twine wrapped bales were way faster to feed, and much less grief than dealing with cows while trying to pick the bale up after removing net wrap.
 

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I just reread looking for better ideas. What a nightmare twines are this year, right from day one, they have been frozen on, almost all the way around. Had copious amounts of freezing rain, and multiple events, then lots of wild temperature swings with snow on the bales. Even the bales stacked vertically have frozen twines.

2000 bales @ 1400 lb is around 2.8 mio pound of feed @ 7 cts. is roughly 200k worth of feed and if you get rains like you describe I bet you are loosing 10% of feed-value, that's 20k a year. A decent bale shed would be paid in 10 years if you can do some work yourself just with the increased feed value never mind the easier work. The ultimate would be to switch to a 3x4 square hd baler and by the time you would still be baling with the round baler and twine all your square bales are already under the roof. We do at least 3 4-string square bales in the same time it takes to remove the twine or wrap on a round one, and it's handy twine to have around the farm anyway. But maybe I am partial toward square bales as I grew up with them.
 

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Need to make hemp twine or something the cattle can eat and wont rot in a year. If you get a bunch you can't remove, just leave it. Or run it through the processor and not worry about it. I think they used to use something similar many years ago. I haven't seen any in many years. Then plastic was invented and I am sure was much cheaper to make. Here we are... Not the first time I have heard this complaint this year.
 

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Easiest solution I discovered three years ago. Sold the cows. No more more frozen strings. ;). Truely feel for you guys with livestock in this weather. Miss my cows on somedays. Today, though, is not one of them.
 
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