Template:Video small rect kick baling rev1
Example of baling small rectangular bales designed to be handled by one person, as opposed to very large rectangular bales that can only be moved with machinery.
Recorded on the 35 cow dairy farm of Ken Mahalko / Kenneth Mahalko, Gilman, WI, USA, on July 8, 2009. My older brother Kevin Mahalko works alongside my father to run the dairy farm operation.
Recorded, edited, ogg/theora transcoded, uploaded, and documented by Dale Mahalko, son of Ken Mahalko.
- Medium size, low detail: 320x240 30fps, 190 kbit streamed (ffmpeg2theora Video Quality 3, Audio quality 1)
- Medium size, high detail: 320x240 30fps, 480 kbit streamed (ffmpeg2theora Video Quality 6, Audio quality 1)
- Large size, high detail: 640x480 30fps, 1200 kbit streamed (ffmpeg2theora Video Quality 6, Audio quality 1)
Hay baling process
The hay was baled using a Ford 5000 tractor and a John Deere 336 baler with the hydraulic bale-kicker attachment. (I don't hay rack model but may put that info here later.) The wagons are moved around using a Massey-Harris model 30.
The kicking power of the baler is adjustable by the tractor driver using the long handle sticking up on the front of the baler. This allows the driver to fill the wagon fairly evenly, using less kick force to stack in the front of the wagon.
Loading bales into the barn
The bales are loaded into a traditional arch-roof stanchion barn with a haymow above the cow milking and feeding area. The bales travel up an inclined elevator to the peak of the mow, where they transfer to a second horizontal elevator running the length of the mow to the far end of the other side. There are adjustable tipping gates every few yards along the inside elevator that allow bales to be dropped off anywhere along the length of the haymow.
An interesting detail is that this barn originally had a manually operated bale spear and pulley system that rode along a track at the peak of the barn. The spear is gone but the track remains, and when the new elevator was installed it was just hung from the existing bale track.
Below the sloping elevator is a barn addition that encloses the Berg barn cleaner chain system. The addition allows for a warmer work environment in the winter when the barn cleaner is run and manure hauled away in the spreader. The sloping elevator existed before the addition, and so the addition was designed to accommodate the hay elevator.
Haymow layout and usage
In this haymow, there is an open work area that is kept free of bales in the center of the mow, at the top of the barn hill. This work area allows wagons and equipment to drive into the mow if needed, and provides room to throw down hay and straw bales and put them into chutes, either along the side walls for feed hay, or in the center for bedding straw.
Bales in the mow can be allowed to simply stack up in a random pile on the floor, though the stacking randomness does not allow for high density storage, and the sloping shape of the pile can be a collapse and avalanche hazard to farm employees that must climb the stack to throw down bales for cows in the winter.
More dense storage is possible by laying out bales in tight flat layers across the haymow, though this is all hand labor, and requires pulling bales off the stack, stacking the bales out to the side, then when the random pile is gone, restacking bales in a flat layer underneath where the random pile was located since that spot will be buried again when more bales enter the mow.
A third option is to build up a sort of fort wall of dense squarely packed bales that is several rows of bales deep, with bales stacked to interlock like large bricks. Behind this fort wall, bales are allowed to pile up randomly. This provides a safety containment wall for the random pile as the stack grows higher towards the haymow ceiling.
Recording and encoding
- Recorded with a Canon PowerShot A640, 640x480, 30fps, high quality
- Imported into Windows XP as high bitrate Windows media (2.1 mbps NTSC)
- Video edited using Windows XP Movie Maker
- Saved as high bitrate Windows media (2.1 mbps NTSC), 640x480
- Converted to Ogg/Theora using ffmpeg2theora version 0.25
Should include video of the grass cutting and side-raking, and I noticed during editing that the image is tilted sideways, due to being inexperienced using a tripod out in a field. The jerkiness of movement is due to using a cheap $25 camera tripod as opposed to a smooth-moving pro-grade tripod. Also would be nice to see the tractor and baler from the other side. I suppose I could try doing this again next year, or someone else can try making their own video to improve on this project.