Typically natural fiber twine is a natural option for those baling hay. However, it's frustrating when the twine breaks in the machine as it's wrapping the bales.
Steve Dodds is the CEO of a twine manufacturing company. He says the twine strength required depends on the type of baler you have, and the amount of hay you're packing into it. Twine is measured by knot strength, which indicates the amount of force it takes before the knot breaks in the machine.
"The knot strengths are starting out at 130 knot for small square bales, and they go from 130 to 170, to 210, and those are basically all knot strengths for small square bales," he says. "Some of these big square balers, those knot strengths are as high as 450 now. We even have a 500-pound knot strength. Farmers just pack more and more hay in them, they're always looking for a stronger twine."
Plastic twine comes in different colors. Dodds says some people use colors to mark when and where their bales were made. If you store hay outside, make sure the twine is fully U-V stabilized so the sun doesn't break it down and cause the bales to fall apart.
Sisal twine is made from natural fiber, which has been wrapped around hay bales for decades. Dodds says unfortunately, the price of fiber has gone up over the past couple of years, so manufacturers have been looking for ways to cut costs.
"One of the things you've got to be careful with sisal twine is to make sure you're buying a full weight, and a full guaranteed length twine," says Dodds. "Because what looks like a very attractive retail price might in the end be a very expensive one if you're buying a twine that has two-or-three pounds of sisal missing, one of two things is happening. It's either short, or it could be short and weak."
Radio interview source: Steve Dodds, CEO, Ambraco
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