Increase your efficiency, reduce your footprint: a new series from Show Me Shortline
Less time and fuel= more money in your pocket, less carbon footprint for the environment.
We are starting a series on how using our machines can save you money by reducing the number of operators you need, reducing time spent in the field, reducing fuel costs, and thus reducing your carbon footprint and also increasing your overall income, efficiency and time to do other tasks or spend time with family. We have a wide variety of machines that are faster and more efficient than their competition. So check back often to see our continued series.
The first machine that can save you obvious time, money on fuel and labor costs thus reducing your carbon footprint is the McHale V660 baler. The V660 baler makes dense bales, reducing the number of truck loads to haul bales around. Since the McHale V660 baler has a chopper unit in it, the hay is partially already processed when it reaches your TMR mixer or direct livestock- which makes it easier to digest and reduces TMR mixer times significantly. This saves you fuel costs and cost of labor because with faster mixing times, your whole operation is running faster and more efficiently- reducing cost to you and to the environment.
The McHale V660 Baler also has a faster transfer speed time than other balers. 15 seconds, or 25% of your day might be spent waiting for a bale to transfer if you ran another baler. This saves you time and money and with all machines getting done 25% faster, you are reducing the fuel, money and energy it takes to create bales.
The V660 has other great features that are forward thinking including a drop floor. With the touch of a button and never getting out of the tractor cab, a blockage can be eliminated and you can go about your baling, reducing labor costs, time spent, and fuel going back and forth from the field getting tools and help-possibly parts too-to remove a blockage with another baler.
This week I wanted to talk to our employees, the people that keep our business moving, about what working in agriculture means to them. Every person we hire has some form of ag background, whether it’s a degree in animal science, being raised on a farm, growing up in an ag community or a love for the people of farming communities. We hope you enjoy a selection of quotes from us about why agriculture matters.
"Agriculture has been part of my life since I was born. My grandparents farmed, their parents farmed, and my dad farmed and sold farm equipment. I have pursued other careers including being a family and addiction counselor, a writer and working in retail. I came back, however, to the ag industry out of a sense of responsibility towards the hard work that farmers put into each and every thing I eat. I knew the one thing I wanted to do as a career was to help people, and nothing helps people more than putting food on the table and selling products that make farmers lives easier. I live on a farm, raise animals and grow an organic garden, so I am never far away from ag. Ag is important to me because food is our most basic of needs, and helping farmers fulfill their goals is always a reason to stay motivated.”
Janeka, Marketing Director, Blog Author
"I grew up on a small farm and cow/calf operation in western SD/Western NE. And have been working in ag sales and service for that last 6 years. I enjoy working in the ag industry for a couple reasons. First, it has brought me back to my roots, and that lends to the second reason. The ag industry allows me to work with producers. The farmers and ranchers are the backbone of this country. Meeting their needs, whether it be products or information, is a great honor.”
Trevor, Territory Manager, Nebraska, the Dakotas
"I like working in ag because it’s a good environment, I’ve always worked on cars and machinery- I’ve raised horses. I like the variety of equipment we offer.”
Andy, Warehouse Manager
"When I lived in Montana my uncle ran a ranch with 800 cattle, I’ve raised cattle myself. I like working in ag because of the down-to-earth people that also work in ag. I like making connections in the ag business, and it seems like you are always just 1 person away from knowing everyone in ag- it’s like a big family.”
Chris, Product Specialist
This week our warehouse is hard at work putting together new McHale machines! One of the bale wrappers we are excited about is the 991 high speed. This wrapper provides 50% higher output for large producers or contractors who need to get their job done in a timely manner. We would like to share with you what other producers are saying about this machine, to allow you to discover if it might be right for your operation. So check out the reviews below and watch the video link at the bottom to see the McHale 991 High Speed running against another great McHale bale wrapper, the 991B series.
Contractor Ben Fraser from Co. Cavan in Ireland does on average 5000 bales per year. Having used McHale products for the past 6 years Ben decided to buy a McHale wrapper “because of the excellent performance of the McHale products I have used in the past and because of their brilliant back up service”. Ben commented that one of his favourite features on his McHale wrapper is “the twin wrapper dispenser which can easily keep up with a baler, whatever the crop conditions”. When it comes to McHale’s back up service Ben is very impressed with McHale’s service, both for the wrapper and his McHale F550.
Ben summed up, “This is a very fast, well-built wrapper that has so far been extremely reliable”.
Colin Price, England says: "I was running two McHale 991BER single dispenser round bale wrappers, which were fully electronic and could be operated with a remote control and a HS2000 twin satellite machine. After having the 991 High Speed on demo for 1 day, I had to get in touch with my dealer to ask him if I could buy it because of its speed of wrapping and ease to use. This machine is very practical, has high output and can do the same work of a twin satellite with fewer things to go wrong."
Diarmuid Geaney from County Cork, Ireland, purchased a 991 High Speed to speed up his wrapping in the yard.
“As I do all my wrapping in the yard, I used to use a 991 BER linkage bale wrapper. I then bought a 991 High Speed to speed the job up, with the two plastic dispensers the 991 High Speed is always waiting for the next bale even when wrapping with six layers.The cut and tie works well by catching the 2 tails at one point.”
Diarmuid was also very impressed by the 991 HIgh Speeds ease of use. ” The wrapper is very practical and easy to use. My old remote control did not work very well in bright sunlight or in tractors with tinted glass.The radio remote control on the 991 High Speed does not have any problems.”
Diarmuid finished by saying “When I changed to the 991 High Speed for yard wrapping my output doubled,I can now wrap the bales as quick as i can load them even with 6 layers of plastic."
Willie Talbot from County Kildare, Ireland purchased a 991 High Speed and is impressed by it’s speed and ease of use. “We find the 991 High Speed an excellent machine. It is fast and simple, this is what a contractor needs in a machine. We can get 75 bales an hour out it with ease, which allows the wrapper man leaving the field the same time as the baler.”
Willie added. “Changing the 2 rolls together at 60 bales saves time getting up and down changing plastic on a single dispenser. The wrapper can be used with the one roll of plastic but we work with the two rolls all the time unless we run low on plastic.”
For Tipperary contractor George Hayden from Crohane, Killenaule, Co, reliability, performance and low running cost are key features of his McHale bale silage system. George operates two McHale round balers and a wrapper from the McHale range, to provide a bale silage and hay baling contractor service in the south Tipperary region.
Due to wet weather, wrapping hay may be more important than ever. Here are some frequently asked questions we often get in regards to bale wrapping.
Why is silage better?
-baled silage is easier for cows to digest because the silage that comes from wrapped bales is slightly already digested per say because the lack of oxygen from the plastic wrap breaks down the lactic bacteria which turns the hay into usable energy.
-you can preserve your hay and keep nutrients inside until the day your livestock eats it
-consumption of hay will go up because your livestock will favor it against anything else, thus reducing your need for other cow feed and increasing the weight of your stock.
How will I save money?
Say you bale 500 bales a year. If you do not wrap your hay you can expect to lose 1/3 of that bale due to factors like spoilage and livestock sorting out the good parts of the bale and leaving the rest. If we know that alfalfa hay bales run about $200/ton and grass hay bales run about $75 a bale, if you take 1/3 of $75 for a grass hay bale, you have just lost $25 per bale if you do not wrap it. Thus, you take $25 x 500 (bales)= $12,500 loss because you did not wrap your hay. So with, say, $300 investment in plastic film, you can earn yourself a much better profit on your hay.
Here’s another example. For every 100 bales of dry hay forage, you need to make 133 bales (100bales / 75%= 133 bales) and if you put $300 worth of silage film on those 100 bales you will save 33 bales at approximately $40 each, 33x$40.00=1320.00 minimum value cost savings.
Each dollar invested in silage film in spring will save $4.00 or more in winter.
You can use this math as well to see how many years it would take in savings to earn you back what you paid for the hay wrapping machine.
What moisture do I need?
Moisture level is 40%-60% for grass, 40%-55% for legumes. This haylage will maintain its feed value for one year. If moisture level is 30%-40%, its not as good after 6 months, but perfect before, so feed first. If moisture level is more than 60%, feed as soon as possible within 6months. For a fast and effective way to test moisture levels, see the picture below on a fast microwave test that proves 100% accurate.
How many bales per hour can I wrap?
We cannot speak for all machines, but the machines we sell from Tubeline, McHale and Diamond single bale wrappers will wrap about a bale a minute, so between 50-60 bales per hour, while the Tubeline inline wrappers you can expect to bale 80-120 per hour.
How many layers of film should I use?
We recommend between 6-7 layers of plastic on hay, legumes cornstalks could need more. As far as single wrappers, in order to get 7 layers you will need to go 21 revolutions (you take the layers of plastic you want x 3 to get the revolutions needed)
What does it cost?
If you are wrapping single bales you can expect to spend $4-6 per bale on plastic wrap
If you are wrapping in line bales you can expect to spend around $3-4 per bale on plastic. The plastic can be obtained from your dealership or a local ag store.
What wrapper should I use?
We have a wrapper to fit your needs. We have in line and single bale wrappers, round and square bale wrappers, self-loading machines, 3point hitch or linkage machines, machines for smaller producers and for commercial, high output customers, and even baler/wrapper combination machines. Click the links below for more info and to watch wrappers in action.
Here are some frequently asked questions about our Plastar grain bags that we have received lately from customers who are interested in grain bagging or grain bagging for the first time.
What width and length grain bags do you have?
Our Plastar grain bags are 9 or 10 feet in width and range anywhere from 200 to 333 feet in length, depending on availability.
What thickness are the bags?
We offer plastar premium grain bags that are 9.3 mil in thickness . Our plastar grain bags have been tested by the state of Missouri.
Do you have trouble with pests?
No. We recommend not bagging grain where there is already a known pest problem. Placing ammonium nitrate down before bagging is a safeguard tool, never use sulfur. Unless there is a major grain spill or you have punctured a hole in your grain bag, pests will not be able to smell the grain from outside the grain bag.
What happens if I tear a hole in a bag?
We offer grain bag tape, as well as many dealerships, to patch a hole if one occurs, which is rare.
How many bushels will a bag hold?
9ft Plastar grain bags will hold approx..40 bushels per foot, 10ft plastar grain bags will hold approx. 50 bushels per foot. So for example, if you have a 10x250ft bag, you can estimate 250x50=12,500 bushels stored in one bag.
How much do bags cost?
Our Plastar grain bags cost roughly 0.7 cents a bushel.
Are the bags reusable?
The plastar grain bags are one time use.
Are the bags recyclable?
Yes. See our previous post on recycling options http://www.showmeshortlineblog.com/blog/recycling-ag-plastics
What moisture can I store my grain at in grain bags?
Ideal moisture is anywhere up to 18%, however, some higher moisture grain can be stored up to 25% moisture.
How long can I store my grain in grain bags?
Plastar grain bags are designed to store grain up to 24 months, but we have many customers who store grain for much longer than that.
What happens to my grain inside the grain bags?
Not much. Aerobic bacteria use up what free oxygen is available inside the grain bag, they expel carbon dioxide which increases CO2 and decreases the risk for deterioration and it also controls mold and insects. There is no decrease in the grade of your grain inside the grain bag and it will remain like it was when you put it in.
We are in the business of bale wrapping in the Midwest right now. We help farmers by providing the highest quality inline, single and baler/wrapper combinations on the market.
We handle wrappers that help the small producer who might wrap 200 bales a year to high output producers wrapping 2,000+ bales a year by providing a wide range of wrappers from Mchale and Tubeline. If you are new to bale wrapping, considering bale wrapping, or have been wrapping and want to get an idea of how you are saving money, keep reading!
1. The first way you save money is your time=money. If takes approximately 9-12 minutes of time per bale depending on your swatch width to make silage/haylage as opposed to 22+ minutes of time per bale to make dry bales which includes mowing, tedding, raking, baling and moving bales. Whether you are paying for labor or doing it yourself, saving time means saving money.
2. The second way you save money by wrapping your hay is the fact that if you do not wrap your hay you will lose 1/3 of that bale. See the diagram below for a visual of how your dry hay loses value. The first 3” of the bale will be spoiled hay from being out in the weather and air getting to it (this is even if its stored in a barn). This equates to 1/3 of your bale being unusable because your cows won’t eat it and it’s of no nutritional value. By wrapping your hay, you are able to use the entire bale with better feed value for your livestock.
3. Piggybacking off the last point, it takes 25lbs of dry hay for cows to gain 1lb, whereas it only takes 8lbs of silage/haylage for a cow to gain that same 1lb. So you can save money by making your bales last longer if they are wrapped because not as much is needed in order for your livestock to gain weight.
4. You will save on fuel costs because, like mentioned in the first point, you will be spending less time overall with the whole wrapping process. This reduces your fuel costs, and is better for the environment.
5. Not only will you have better feed for your livestock, if you choose to sell your wrapped bales you will make a larger profit since the feed value is greater in wrapped bales. You can charge more for your bales because the customer will be getting a better product for their livestock.
There are many more reasons why bale wrapping is the most effective use of your hard work and best option for your livestock, so keep checking back for tips! Click on the link below for a useful guide to all things bale wrapping from Tubeline Manufacturing.
This article has been updated from a previous version.
One of the unique machines we feature in the Richiger Flexi-Grain Storage Systems lineup is the Richiger R950MX Grain crimping roller mill bagger. This machine can output approximately 3,150 bushels per hour, making it the largest 9ft crimper-bagger in the business.
What are the advantages of bagging moist grain?
The Richiger R950MX bagger saves time and money because once crimped and ensiled using the R950MX, the grain undergoes lactic fermentation because it has a lack of oxygen, so no further processing is required afterward.
- Therefore, you save on money and energy because your grain does not have to be dried.
-Crimped grain with this bagger is dust free, so it is healthier for you, your workers, and livestock.
- You can harvest an average of 3 weeks before conventional dates with a 950MX bagger, at the peak of nutritional value-and before most fungal diseases emerge.
The grain that comes from being crimped, then bagged, is ideal for livestock from calves to sheep along with dairy and beef cattle because they digest it better due to its high concentrated nature.
All grains that are harvested with a combine can be crimped with the Richiger R950MX bagger. In regards to moisture, Cereals are generally bagged at 30%-40% moisture, pulses at 30%-35%, and corn around 25%-33%.
This is a unique machine because it is essentially two machines in one, streamlining the process of crimping and bagging grain. Other features of the Richiger R950MX include choice of roller grooves: you can choose between 4, 6, or 9 teeth per inch for different sizes of desired grain; large industrial type tires, command station to allow you to monitor brake pressure and make sure you are packing the bags well; and dividers in the hopper so both roller mills get equal amounts of grain.
The Department of Animal Sciences from the University of Missouri had this to say in reference to corn and milo harvested early for use as high grain feed for beef cattle:
"There may be as much as 10% improvement in the feed value of the grain for cattle. Field losses at harvest may be reduced by 5-10%. Losses average about 13% for 15% moisture grain vs. 2% for 26% moisture grain. (In regards to field grain losses diminishing when combining ahead of time)."
Want more info? Click the link 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.”
While we know that chopping hay while baling, making baleage, and feeding it to your cows with a TMR mixer increases your operations feed value, the true triad of nutrition includes all three of these techniques. By combining all three of these practices you can achieve optimal feed value resulting in more pounds of beef and more pounds of milk. Let’s define why each of these techniques individually helps your operation, then discuss what combining all three can do for you.
Chopper/Baler: choosing a baler that has a chopper unit on it will make a tighter, chopped bale. These bales will be easier for the cows to eat and your cows will waste less because it gives them a smaller particle size to chew on.
Bale Wrapping: making baleage has been proven to preserve the feed value of your hay for cows. If you wrap high moisture hay, your rate of gain will improve on a straight hay ration (ie. you only need approximately 8lbs of baleage for a cow to gain 1 lb, whereas for them to gain that same 1lb you would need to feed them 25 lbs of dry hay.)
TMR mixing: There are two different basic bacteria in a cow’s gut, one for breaking down cellulose and one for breaking down carbohydrate. If your cows are on a hay only ration and you slug feed them some carbohydrates, it causes a rapid change in the PH of the cow’s gut, throwing her off feed. By mixing your hay and carbohydrates in a homogenous mix with a TMR mixer, and letting the cow eat this every day, the gut stays in a stable PH resulting in better feed conversion.
If these alone have such great benefits, think what using all three in your operation could do for you?
So, how do these machines complement each other?
Chopping your hay will create the palatability needed if you put that bale in a TMR mixer when ready to feed. Having a chopped bale will always make your TMR mixer run faster, as the bale will take less time because it is pre-chopped. Adding silage to your TMR mixer immediately increases the value of the mix because of the added nutritional value of the bale. Add this with your other ingredients like grains, remixes and feed additives, and your cows will produce more weight and more milk because they get all the ingredients you want them to have, not just the ones they have picked through.
Want more info? Click the links below.
This past week Show Me Shortline traveled with our salesman and several dealerships to McHale’s factory in Ireland for a training session and visit to the factory.
McHale is among the most forward thinking companies specializing in hay products in the business. They specialize in balers, baler/wrapper combination units and high speed bale wrappers along with hay handling products and grass mowers. After the trip I talked to two salesmen who went about their trip. Brent Thomas is with Sydenstricker Implement in Mexico, MO and Ruben Downing is with S&H Farm Supply in Lockwood, MO. Both dealerships have locations across Missouri. You can check them out on the links at the bottom.
What was your motivation for going on this trip to the McHale factory in Ireland?
Brent Thomas: Going over there I hoped to learn how the V660 baler was built, how it works, see production and get a better understanding of how their operation runs.
Ruben Downing: I wanted to go to Ireland to see the factory and how their machines are made and talk to the people that make them, the owners, and bring that back to my customers.
How was the trip beneficial?
BT: I was impressed. The factory was new, clean, the lines were streamlined, quality control was really good. One of the biggest things that impressed me was most people in management were also farmers themselves. McHale assured us that all people in research and development come off a farm, were custom baler people and could get in a tractor and bale hay. So they really are building these by farmers for farmers. And you don’t get that with a lot of other machinery manufacturers. It was also helpful to hear that parts are quick and easy to get, usually 3 days from Ireland, if Show Me Shortline doesn’t already have them.
RD: It was great to go to the factory and visit with the research and development. I learned that the workers in the plant are working on farms there in Ireland as contractors as well. They don’t just build the balers, they run them too. I got to have dinner with Martin McHale himself and learn about their family business.
Which Mchale product are you most excited about and why?
BT: The McHale V660 baler. We’ve already sold two since the trip to Ireland. This baler will allow customers that wouldn’t otherwise come in the door to get excited about a product that has chopper knives on it among other features that other balers just don’t have.
RD: the McHale V660 and V640 balers gave me ammunition. The 640 has 5 bar pick up and a lot of other features that are standard whereas some of the other balers have those features as options only not standard. I like how the V660 makes the bale, the durability of the baler, the cutters, and that its capable of wet or dry hay.