Straw going into mini-bales has to be clean and bright, a requirement that has created a lot of extra work for Gary Thering and his family.
He buys wheat straw in the field from other farmers, bales it, hauls the round bales home and stacks them in his barn. Sometimes the bales get rained on before he can get them home, and the outsides become discolored. That straw has to be peeled off and discarded before the bales are converted to mini-bales.
He bought a bale wrapper in 2007, planning to wrap bales after finishing each field to avoid rain damage. But the wrapper hasn't been used much.
Wrapping the bales, “was a wonderful idea that there isn't enough time for,” he says.
“We have been hit with so much rain at wheat season that it's been a challenge just to get the bales made somewhat dry,” he explains. “Once the bales do get wet it's better just to let them air dry. When we get them in the barn we stack them like a cylinder so they stay nice and round and any wetness will dry off.”