For years farmers in many states have been able to receive great interest rates for farm storage facilities on their farms through their Farm Service Agency. This program has helped around 33,000 farmers of small to medium size as well as many new farmers increase their storage capacity for storing grain and hay on their farm. They extended this program for 2019-2020, and now 2021 and we have had several customers take advantage of it.
This is a great opportunity for farmers who would like to update their silage equipment this year!
Here is the information directly from the USDA/FSA website regarding this matter:
“The Farm Storage Facility Loan Program (FSFL) provides low-interest financing so producers can build or upgrade facilities to store commodities. Eligible commodities include grains, oilseeds, peanuts, pulse crops, hay, honey, renewable biomass commodities, fruits and vegetables, floriculture, hops, maple sap, milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, eggs, meat/poultry (unprocessed), rye and aquaculture. Eligible facility types include grain bins, hay barns, bulk tanks, and facilities for cold storage. Drying and handling and storage equipment is also eligible, including storage and handling trucks. Eligible facilities and equipment may be new or used, permanently affixed or portable.
Since its inception in May 2000, more than 33,000 loans have been issued for on-farm storage, increasing storage capacity by 900 million bushels.
FSFL is an excellent financing program for on-farm storage and handling for small and mid-sized farms, and for new farmers. Loan terms vary from 3 to 12 years. The maximum loan amount for storage facilities is $500,000. The maximum loan amount for storage and handling trucks is $100,000. In 2016 FSA introduced a new loan category, the microloan, for loans with an aggregate balance up to $50,000. Microloans offer a 5 percent down payment requirement, compared to a 15 percent down payment for a regular FSFL, and waive the regular three-year production history requirement.”
If this sounds like a good program for you, take a peek at some of the available balers and wrappers we offer below and get a taste of which one might be right for your operation. We should note that grain baggers also fall under this storage loan program, and you can read more about the grain bagging side of it in our earlier blog: Grain Bagging: FSA Loan Can Help!
In Line Wrappers
Tubeline balewrappers have been trusted in the industry as reliable, feature loaded wrappers.
The NEW TL60 Wrapper features a soft start and will wrap both round and square bales.
The NEW TL50 Wrapper features a soft start and will wrap round bales.
The TL5000 model will wrap round bales up to 5’6”
The TL5500 model will wrap round bales up to 5’6” as well as square bales up to 3’x3’x5’6”
The TL6000 model will wrap round bales up to 6' and square bales up to 3'x3'x6'.
The TL6500 model will wrap round bales up to 6’, single square bales 4’x4’x6’ and 3’x3’x7’ OR double stacked square bales up to 3’x4’x6’.
Tubeline also offers ECV balewrappers which build upon the proven success of the AX2 wrappers, but has digital control and easy to use presets and bale counters, custom operators love these machines.
The McHale V660 Baler is a 15 knife chopper variable chamber round baler, you can make bales anywhere from 2ft 4 inches to 5ft 6inches. It makes bales of custom operator quality that are unsurpassed in silage quality. Read more about why your cows want chopped hay here.
The McHale V8950 offers the same great features of the V660 but will make round bales 2' to 6'3"!
Baler/Wrapper Combination Machines.
Mchale Fusion Vario
The McHale Vario can make bales of haylage/silage of 3ft 3 inches to 4ft 8 inches and bales of hay and straw from 2ft to 5ft 6inches. It bales and wraps all in one machine.
McHale Fusion 3+
McHale Fusion 3+ this combination machine will bale and wrap 4x4 bales The McHale Fusion 3 Plus integrated baler wrapper uses Film on Film technology to apply film to the barrel of the bale in the bale chamber. Film on Film technology has been proved to increase the feed value of your bales by replacing net wrap with another layer of special film that binds the bale together forming a wrap layer and gives you better plastic coverage on the largest surface of the bale.
Single Round Balewrappers
For small producers only wrapping 500 or less bales per year:
Are you looking for an easy to use, easy to maintain single Balewrapper?
Now you can wrap your hay easier, up to 5X5’6” diameter bales with the Tubeline TL1000R Balewrapper. This easy to use Balewrapper uses tractor hydraulics to spin and rotate the bale while it’s being wrapped so that each bale is wrapped completely and evenly every time. LEARN MORE.
For producers needing a high output, high quality machine:
McHale 991 Series balewrappers
For the medium to high producer, there is a single round bale wrapper that stands out among the pack, the McHale 991 wrapper series. These are trailed units that come in either cable controlled with 4 levers (991 BC) or with fully electronic in tractor settings (991 BE). The McHale 991 single bale wrappers are self-loading, and have a high output rating for producers who need to wrap bales fast and efficiently.
McHale 991 High Speed
For high output producers, the 991 High Speed Bale Wrapper will increase your production with its speed! As shown in the video below, the high speed wrapper has the great features of the 991 BC/BE units, but with a 50% increase in output. These wrappers will wrap bales in approximately 30 seconds!
Orbital high speed balewrapper
A high speed solution which delivers consistent and even overlap and achieves optimum levels of fodder preservation and quality.
The McHale Orbital Bale Wrapper is a high speed round bale wrapper. The McHale Orbital harnesses the proven vertical wrapping ring technology used in the McHale Fusion to deliver a high output, low maintenance bale wrapper which is capable of keeping up with multiple balers.
Single Square Balewrappers
For small producers only wrapping 500 or less bales per year:
The TL1700SR trailed bale wrapper will wrap BOTH Square AND Round bales! This is a trailed unit that will wrap 3’x3’ square bales from 4feet to 7 feet long and 4’x4’ & 5’x5’6” round bales- making it versatile for whatever kind of bales you need to wrap. LEARN MORE.
For producers needing a high output, high quality machine: McHale 998 square balewrapper
Do you need a high output square bale wrapper that can wrap 80-100 bales an hour?
The McHale 998 single square bale wrapper is a feature packed single bale wrapping machine that has a conveyor that loads square bales from the field and loads them for wrapping. The McHale 998 square bale wrapper will wrap bales up to 5.9ft in length and can wrap double stacked bales.
There are six main steps to making great silage! Mow wide windrows, Moisture Test (keep reading we show an easy microwave trick to test moisture) , Rake (as needed), bale tight and uniformly, haul (no further than necessary) & Wrap within 4-8 hours after baling. We will go through each of these steps and also offer answers to some of our most asked questions about wrapping hay!
What is high moisture hay and why should I wrap it?
High moisture hay can be referred to as haylage, baleage, and silage. It is <60% moisture hay that has been wrapped airtight and allowed to ferment. Minimizing harvest loss, reducing harvest time, increasing average daily gain, minimizing storage loss, reducing feed cost, and reducing weather risk are reasons to produce high moisture hay.
Unwrapped bales absorb moisture form the ground and precipitation causing spoilage while wrapped hay provides a plastic film barrier against moisture and promote fermentation, so you can save it all.
When should I mow?
You should mow during the vegetative state while at 4” because it leaves a higher concentration of nitrates and helps to boost regrowth. The growing point is saved and immediately starts growth.
How should I mow?
Mowing at 4” leaves a higher concentration of nitrates, helping to boost regrowth. The growing
point is saved, and is able to immediately start growth. Hay mowed at 2” includes a
higher concentration of nitrates, manure splash, ashes and dirt, as well as increasing the fertilizer costs associated with nutrient replacement.
How can I test moisture?
The graphic below shows a microwave technique you can use to test moisture.
Does my baler matter when it comes to making silage?
Compression drives out the oxygen. As the hay is rolled the baler applies consistent pressure which keeps air pockets from forming when baling and it further compresses the bale as it passes across the wrapper into the tube. The tighter compacted a bale is, the better silage you will produce. Balers like the McHale V6&V8 chopper balers are industry standard for compact bales perfect for wrapping. Inline wrappers use the combined weight of the bale tube and the machine to pack bales tightly together as they are wrapped. Individual wrappers pull the plastic around the bale as the platform spins. The weight of the bale and tension on the plastic provides the pressure needed to seal the bale.
How many layers of plastic should I use?
Depending on where you live, you will need 6-8 layers of plastic. You need the film to last at least one year outside in the sun. In warmer climates, 8 layers of wrap are recommended because higher levels of UV exposure can break down the outer layers of plastic quicker. Plastic, exposed to heat and cold, will keep expanding and contracting when using a quality film product. Film storage is critical, film should not be exposed to extreme heat or sunlight for long periods of time. This plastic should be white to reflect the heat. Any other color will ABSORB the heat instead of reflecting it. Too high a temperature inside the bale will bond the protein to the fiber and increase the time needed by cows to digest the fiber, thus reducing the space in the cows rumen for new forage intake. This is known as the “bonded protein” effect. This will result in a loss of profitability! During periods of hot weather, you must clean the pretensioner rollers frequently to remove cling deposits. This will control the stretch to levels you need (55% to 75%). Overstretched plastic, 75% or greater, may result in premature film degradation and barrier properties. The lack of oxygen barrier allows the CO2 inside the bale to escape.
What type of silage film should I use?
You should look for good silage film that will provide an excellent oxygen barrier that will keep the CO2 inside the bale. If you lose CO2, your haylage will develop mold. You need enough tack or cling on the film to seal the bale.
When should I feed silage bales?
Every bale that is made on your farm has a different conservation period. You can know at time of wrapping the length of time that the feed value will be at 100%. Moisture level is 40% to 60% for grass and 40% to 55% for legumes. This haylage will maintain it’s feed value for one year. If moisture level is greater than 60%, feed first. If moisture level is less than 40%, feed second. If moisture level is between 40-60%, feed last.
In review, there are 6 main steps outlined in images below, that will give you the tools you need to make the best silage/haylage this season!
Resources: The How and Why of Silage, 2017 Bernard Adam & Tubeline Mfg. See full text here.
The right baler can increase the carrying capacity of your farm per acre; more efficiency equals less wasted fertilizer and lower costs of production.
What is a farms carrying capacity?
“Carrying capacity describes the number of grazing animals a management unit is able to support without depleting rangeland vegetation or soil resources.” (globalrangelands.org)
So, how can a baler do this for your farm?
Some balers, like the Mchale V6 chopper balers and now the V8 Chopper Balers, are famous for efficiency.
We have now introduced the all new V8 Series of McHale balers, with all of the hay eating and processing factors of its little brother, but in a larger diameter package (6’3”) and the ability to make an even tighter bale!
In what ways are McHale V8 balers more efficient than other balers?
1.They pack more hay into a bale. The more hay you have for a given size of bale the less oxygen there is and less mold will occur, it will also shed water better even if it’s not wrapped.
2.Chopping balers create less waste. Since you can determine your desired chop length,your cattle doesn’t have to work as hard to chew the hay. Long stem hay creates waste because a lot falls on the ground when cattle eat it. It also makes other processes run better like a TMR mixer because the bale is already chopped, so it takes less time to grind it with other ingredients in your TMR mixer.
3.They make your hay stay fresher longer. Tightly packed bales means cattle will want to eat it as opposed to loose bales. Looser bales have more decay which cattle don’t like.
4.They use less fuel. McHale Balers are 15 seconds faster than other balers. While 15 seconds might not seem like much, that’s a quarter of an hour, a quarter of your day that will be saved in time and fuel!
Think a chopper baler might be right for you? Check out more info below!
The Situation: it might seem strange to already be talking about logistics for harvest 2020. Demand for corn at ethanol plants is down, (hopefully short term), caused by the collapse in the crude oil markets and waning fuel demand from Covid-19 etc. If this leaves you thinking about the crops you already have in bins, and what this means for fall, you’re not alone. We have been experiencing a high number of calls from farmers who are looking for solutions to help them this fall with regards to grain storage.
A solution? Grain Bagging.
1. Either by bagging what you have in storage currently,(this grain has already been dried and conditioned), then utilizing your bins for new crop this fall
2. by keeping your current supply in bins and expanding your storage options by bagging this falls harvest, grain bagging can solve logistical and storage problems for you during uncertain market times.
Our Story: We have been bagging grain on our own farm for 13+ years, as a way to retain control of our grain even in better times. Logistically it works better as we can bag directly in the field we are harvesting, and not drive back and forth to a bin miles away wasting fuel and time. We also like to retain control of our grain and get the very best price we can, so holding grain on our farm in bags vs sending it to the terminal where we lose control of it, is a better option financially. This is even more important to us in times of extreme uncertainty.
Watch our 2018 Wheat Harvest ⤵️
See other farmers stories:
Time Line: Most of the time grain baggers are still available in the months close to harvest, but with the wave of calls and sales we have been getting, its best to plan ahead for fall now, rather than get left without options.
How to: If you are new to grain bagging, here are some helpful posts we’ve made before answering customers frequently asked questions as well as best practices to be successful at bagging grain:
We also have experienced staff on hand to help get first time grain baggers off to a great start and also help with any issues regarding grain bagging, whether its on the phone or in person with our dedicated service team and service plane.
Read more about our service department here: http://www.showmeshortlineblog.com/blog/customer-service-at-its-best
Hay ’20 has started in the Midwest! You might be looking at wrapping hay this year.
Why do many farmers and custom operators wrap hay?
There are several reasons to wrap your hay, including:
• Minimize harvest loss
• Reduced harvest time
• Increase ADG (Average Daily Gain)
• Minimize storage loss
• Reduce feed cost
• Reduce weather risk
So which wrapper is best for you?
Inline wrapping is best for farmers who plan to feed from the hay all year and don’t plan to move the wrapped hay. You can sell hay wrapped inline, but its harder to market and makes moving bales a little harder. An advantage of wrapping inline is that you can save on plastic wrap, as you aren’t wrapping each bale individually. With a Tubeline wrapper You can expect to wrap 80 - 120 bales per/hr and have a 50% cost savings on plastic wrap.
Single balewrapping is best for farmers and custom operators that want to be able to market their bales better for sale, have the flexibility to move and handle the bales easier, and have less potential for spoilage if there does happen to get a rip in the plastic. You can expect to wrap 20-60 bales per hour if you are single wrapping. Single wrappers like the W2020, 991 High Speed and Orbital by McHale can wrap single bales in 30 seconds or less, letting you have the ability to wrap single bales at high speeds, even with the recommended layers of 6-8 layers of plastic.
Safety is always a number one priority on the farm, and we’ve all read too many farm accident stories than we care to see. Loads on the farm have gotten to be heavier, the variety of loads have become more diverse, i.e. your handling seed tender boxes, heavy bales one day or seed bags the next day or a pallet of goods the next. And the places you’ve got to put it in are small and compact. A tractor works fine in great big open spaces, but even then sometimes we find that tractors are being used in jobs that they were not designed for and because of that, the chance of operating it beyond its designed engineered capacities makes the chance of an accident happening greater. That’s the reason we have wheel loaders.
With a wheel loader you can not only use it for what it’s designed for, (lifting heavy loads), but you’ve also got a tool that you can easily handle those loads safely and in a versatile way, without exceeding the engineered capabilities of the machine. Coupled with third function hydraulics, transmission, telescoping booms, etc. the versatility of what you can do with a wheel loader is more than what you can do with a loader on a tractor. Wheel loaders have hydraulic capacities that allow you to put bedders on them, allows you to put bale feeders on them, allows you to do any number of farm chores where hydraulics can replace the PTO shaft.
So if you want a machine that does multiple jobs on the farm safely, consider a wheel loader.
There is a lot of corn in the midwest that is too wet for bins (ie. 20% or higher moisture). This corn isn’t drying down in the field in a timely manner due to the period of the year we are in and weather conditions that are higher in humidity, have shorter days and lower air temperatures.
This can severely slow down harvest if theres not enough dryer space and available dryers are running slower due to the weather conditions mentioned above.
But theres a solution. Oxygen free grain storage, or grain bagging, can help. With grain bagging you will be able to harvest now, store grain for an extended period of time with no degradation to your grain quality, then unload into your dryer when there is space.
But what exactly is oxygen free storage?
Lets get scientific. Inside a grain bag is your grain, and whatever quality it goes in at, is what it will come out at.
How does this occur? First, aerobic bacteria that is on your grain will use up the free oxygen available in the bag. While it does this, the bacteria are expelling Carbon Dioxide, which increases C02. Because of this, there is a decrease of deterioration in your grain, as well as controlling mold and insect infestation-because bugs cannot live without oxygen. There is no decrease in grain grade due to shrink (like in a grain bin) or oxygen degradation. So essentially there is not much going on inside the grain bag except protection from the outside world, which is just what you want.
So by bagging near your grain dryer you can easily unload when the time is right and dry your grain. Want to see real farms who bagged grain this year? Check out the pics & videos below:
With an estimated 80 million acres of soybeans planted this year, we expect many first time and continued grain bagger operators alike will have some questions about the best tips to bag soybeans.
We get lots of questions about grain bagging, and we love educating. We have bagged grain (corn, soybeans, wheat) on our own farm for more than a decade.
How do we accomplish this? To be honest, when you hear people having trouble with grain bagging its almost 99% of the time something that could have been avoided if some thinking and prep had been done ahead of harvest.
So right now is the perfect time to start planning and prepping if you plan to store some of your grain in bags.
These are best practices to use when bagging any type of grain , but today we are focusing on soybeans.
Prepare and Level your Site
Now, before harvest, is a good time to start planning where you will place your grain bags.
Pick the most level site you can find. If this isn’t possible for your farm, then keep in mind that you need to always bag down the hill or slope, never up hill.
Always choose a place furthest away from wooded areas, or places you know there is always a pest problem.
Level your site by grading or preferred method so if you get a hard rain while your grain is in bags, the water will run away from the bag, not to it. You can even create a “crown” and bag on top of that, ensuring that any rain will run away from the bag.
You are also doing this to make the ground smooth so there aren’t sharp objects visibly sticking up that could puncture your bag.
Spread Ammonium Nitrate
If you are worried about pests or mice, spreading ammonium nitrate (never sulfur) down where your bag will go before bagging is a good idea.
Use bag stretch indicators
Any grain bag you use should have a stretch indicator on it that shows you how full to fill the bags. A general rule of thumb is that your plastic should never stretch passed 10% from its original size. Stretching your bag to the max should not be the goal, it should be the limit.
Call if you’re not sure
Its always better safe than sorry. We’ve been bagging grain for over a decade with continued success. If you have a question at any stage of grain bagging with a Richiger bagger, call our Service Manager Ted Finck at 573-823-9077 (direct line). Most issues can be handled with a quick adjustment over the phone. We also have a service plane that we use for issues we cant resolve over the phone that is able to land in your field and help on site quickly. Learn more about our service dept here.
Check bags weekly
Check your bags weekly just like you would your grain bins. With bags you are looking for any tears or holes in the plastic. If you see a tear or hole, there is bag repair tape that should be used to repair that and it works great.
Use Creolin 1x a month
After you’ve bagged your grain and if you are still worried about pests or wildlife, spraying a light spray of Creolin over the top and sides of your grain bag will almost guarantee nothing will want to be around it. This has a recommended repeat of 1x a month.
Check out some footage below of us bagging grain on our own farm.
Due to global and local demand for food, lack of storage, prices, trade wars and farmers wanting to take more control over their grain, grain bagging has become a popular extra storage solution.
We have been bagging grain on our farm for 12+ years bagging soybeans, wheat and corn.
Let’s take a look at some reasons you might choose to bag your grain:
1. Grain bags keep your grain protected in an oxygen free environment. This oxygen free environment virtually eliminates insects and molds without the use of chemical substances. Most mycotoxins and yeasts, including aflatoxins, cannot prosper in this anaerobic atmosphere that is hostile to pathogens.
2. Grain bagging gives you all the storage capacity you will ever need whether you need to store 30,000 or 1,000,000 bushels of corn, barley, soybeans, rice, canola, sunflower, or any other grain.
3. Fuel costs are decreased because you can bag your grain right in the field, and not have to travel back and forth to the grain bin, often located a distance from the field you are harvesting. Your cost for hired help can go down too, we have seen some of our customers decrease their truck and hired help load to half of what it was before they started bagging grain.
4. Time is saved, our R1090 10ft bagger bags at a rate of approximately 39,000 bushels per hour and our E6910 unloader will unload 9 or 10ft bags at a rate of approximately 13,800 bushels per hour. Because the bag is oxygen free, fans are not needed- eliminating any shrinkage of grain or electricity costs. Your cost for the bags will be only about 0.7 cents a bushel.
5. There is no property tax on bags, where there is with a fixed grain bin. And if you no longer need the bagger, you can always sell it- that’s pretty hard to do with a grain bin.
6. Bagging your grain gives you leverage to sell grain when the price is right, giving you back control of your grain and eliminates hasty decisions that can result in money lost
Watch our 2018 Wheat Harvest Below!
We love talking to customers about how our products made their operation better. Today we talked with Mark Goode from Louisburg, Kansas about his purchase of a McHale V660 baler last year. Mark made these points about his operation last year vs. the years previous.
-Mark was able to double crop last year with rye and beans sooner because he could bale and wrap his high moisture hay and didn’t have to wait for the hay to dry out. He stated that this caused no soil erosion and the fertility of his ground stayed strong all year round.
-He found 20% better consumption from his cows with his bales being chopped by the McHale baler vs. long stem hay that his cows wasted because they picked through it to pull it out.
-Last year was the first year he never had to supplement his cow/calf operation. And he believes the overall health of his cows has increased.
-He achieved 10% better density of his bales with the McHale baler because it chops the hay then packs it tight- getting as much material in a 4x5 bale as other balers get in a 5x6 bale- and he didn’t have to worry about the cows being able to easily eat the bale because it was chopped.
-Mark said that “the future of farming has to do with 3 factors: productivity, predictability and economics.” And he believes that his baler improves all three. For productivity, he referenced his double crop, predictability is being able to bale and wrap high moisture hay and not wait for it to dry, and improved economics includes the increase in money you can make by double cropping, seeing your cows gain more weight with silage and not having to supplement your cows.
-Mark also was comforted by the fact that he sees lots of McHale balers that have 20,000-30,000 bales through them and are still selling for good use- something you don’t see with other balers.
-Lastly, Mark said for other farmers thinking of investing in a McHale baler, “you can double your capacity if you invest in the right equipment.”