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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2004
    Left coast, left wing, left field

    Default Do round bales need to "cure"?

    Two inexperienced parties colliding here, which can't be good!

    - Farmer next door has always made either big wrapped silage bales or square bales, both for cows. This year he has had the opportunity to make "horse quality" round bales. Weather has been extremely dry -- I think other farmers are contacting him saying "come get this hayfield cut and baled before it is dry straw".

    - We usually have pasture all summer but the dry weather has us needing to supplement it before the fields are all just dustbowls.

    I contacted farmer about buying a few of the round bales, to put out in our pastures. We have no feeder, will just put it on the ground. He is making the bales right now. After arranging to have him bring a few over, my friend asked "why do small bales have to cure, but round bales don't?"

    Argh, I don't know. I don't even 100% understand why small bales have to cure but I have heard that -- put them in the barn for at least a week before feeding. Obviously if he plops these round bales down into our pastures, the horses won't voluntarily shun them till some future date!

    So what is the purpose of curing and should we worry about the round bales?
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 2003
    WA, Land of the damp Thongpend


    It isn't hay til it cures, it cures when left to dry in the field before raking and baling, why do people think they need to "cure" hay after it is baled? It's hay, it is not going to get anymore hayier.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2005
    Pensacola, Florida


    I have taken many a round bale and dropped it in the pasture on the same day it was baled. No problems.

    Ths curing comes before baleing... not after!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2002
    East of Dog River


    The curing is supposed to take place before baling, regardless the type of bale. Cruing is reducing the moisture content by sun drying until moisture is down below 14% and once hay is 'bundled' up in your choice of bale, it ain't gonna dry any more. If too wet, it will heat and spoil and maybe combust. FWIW, some of the new balers by Hesston and JD have moisture meters right in the bale chamber as an option. Those balers make rather nasty noises if the moisture content is wrong.
    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

    Member: Incredible Invisbles

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2008
    Near Auburn, Alabama


    Hay is cured before it's baled. There is no need to wait to feed it, regardless of the type of bale.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by JoZ View Post
    After arranging to have him bring a few over, my friend asked "why do small bales have to cure, but round bales don't?"

    So what is the purpose of curing and should we worry about the round bales?

    well if everything is done right,there is no small bale curing needed but until everyone uses computers properly in their balers you are going to have "surprises" and sometimes you need to clean a field quickly before a rain and that set of bales will need to "wait" to see if they go off...this is really the basis of "curing" after baling...

    in regards to round vs small the round bales can be safely baled at a higher moisture than a square bale...sometimes as much as 5 points....basically the density of the round bales is lower (even in the hard cored centers) than the densities of small or even the large square bales

    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2002
    it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here


    Warning: Do NOT drop a fresh bale OUTSIDE Of said fence and plan to feed it out.

    You will NOT have fence left, will not have fresh bale left, and WILL have a muddy, mucky mess where you used to have driveway.

    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

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