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Baler serves growing demand from niche small bale market

Oct 17, 2023Oct 17, 2023

Published: October 6, 2022

Crops, Machinery


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FARGO, N.D. — Not every livestock producer needs or wants a high capacity hay-feeding system, especially in operations where feed quality is critical.

This is why the small bale niche continues to grow.

Edney Company is responding to those market signals by importing high end haying equipment from Europe. Made up of more than 1,000 equipment dealerships across the upper mid-western states, Edney brings in a dozen lines, including McHale baling equipment from Ireland.

Edney representative Curtis McVicar brought a McHale 8950 baler to the recent Big Iron Show in Fargo, where he explained the growing market for compact bales.


A flare up of conflict in Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo has exacerbated severe hunger caused by erratic weather and economic disruptions in the Horn of Africa.

Ease of transport and ease of handling is always a big factor in small farms like equine operations, sheep and goats. A tight bale also protects the hay inside.


"This McHale machine makes bales that are only four feet wide. But they’re packed so tightly they hold as much hay as a six by five bale. They get that compaction, starting with the density cylinders at the top of the machine. The core gets started nice and tight and compact. Then the springs take over about halfway through to compress the rest of the bale. A tighter pack means the contents are better protected.

"You can bale dry hay, but we also have chopping knives so you can bale silage. If you look closely, you’ll see this is a heavy duty machine compared to North American balers. In Ireland, farmers expect a very stout machine. It's always wet there, so they have to do five or six silage cuts a year. They don't like it when their haying equipment goes down. At trade-in, some of those McHale balers have 50,000 or 60,000 bales on them and they’re still working fine."

The McHale Variable Chamber Round Baler is available as a semi-automatic chopper or a non-chopper. The chopper is fitted with a 15-knife chopper unit and a double drive system. Net and bale density can be adjusted from the cab.

List price on the unit McVicar had at Big Iron is US$87,000.


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