Round bales of hay

FarmerJamie

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Now that it is actually light in the morning/evening on the way to/from work, it struck me how much hay I see sitting the fields in round bales, just rotting away. My grandfather would take a sickle bar mower to the wheat field after it was combined, using every stalk of straw he could.

I know my BIL does a lot of hay in round bales, but he tarps everything up tight near the barn. The good timothy and alfalfa hay gets baled in traditional bales and stored in the barn.

I guess I am wondering out loud, what's the point of leaving the round bales sitting out in the field for many years, particularly if you have spent the money for the "wrap" material too?

I just don't get it.
 

baymule

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It is stupid to do all that work and then just leave it. I see round bales left out in the field long enough to kill the grass under it before it gets moved. You can't fix stupid.
 

frustratedearthmother

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We see it lot here too. I think the theory is that it's "supposed" to last for a couple years even in the elements. Just peel a bunch off and the cows will eat it. The farmer probably expected to sell it fresh, but if it was a good hay year maybe it just didn't sell. But, like you mentioned - a lot move it to a better, drier location to keep the quality top notch. That's the hay I want!
 

tortoise

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Because there's a market for old round bales. We buy hay for the goats from the previous year. They're not producers so it's adequate and the price is right.
 

NH Homesteader

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I don't really ever see this. My guess is because most of the people haying that I know don't own the fields, they're haying other people's properties. Doesn't seem very sensible to leave it there though does it?
 

Chic Rustler

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there's an empty field not too far the house. The owner bales it a few times a year. Then it sits on the back of the property and rotate down to nothing. I think he just does it to make it look better than an overgrown field???

If I ever catch him out there I'm going to hit him up and see if I can have a few round bales of the old stuff.
 

milkmansdaughter

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We just found a source for 2yo round bales of hay ( free, and not sprayed with herbicides). We picked up the first roll 3 weeks ago, but then I was gone for two weeks, and with all of the rain, it was too wet to get out to the field to get more. If it stays dry, I'll go get more Tuesday. I'll probably ask why so many bales are left in fields.
 

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