When you’re walking the aisles at the giant Agritechnica machinery show in Hanover, Germany, you sometimes have to stop and do a double take to figure just what some machines displayed there actually do. That was the case for me when I spotted the Agronic Multibaler.
Built by a company in the Netherlands, the two models of Multibalers take chopped silage, compact it and turn it into round bales wrapped in plastic. “Why would you want to do that,” I asked a marketing rep at the company’s display.
Faster ensiling operations requiring fewer workers, convenience when feeding and easier, lower-cost transport was the answer.
If a farm uses multiple silage clamps and one is running out near the end of the feeding season, having a store of round bales to use would make it unnecessary to open up another sealed pit for just a few weeks’ feed. If you want to sell feed or move it any distance, packaging silage in the form of round bales can make those processes easier as well.
But perhaps most significant of all is it can speed up ensiling operations and make it a one-man job. By allowing one operator with a front-mounted forage harvester on a tractor to feed silage directly into the Multibaler, he can continue working in the field all day. The baler would leave a trail of wrapped silage bales behind it. There is no need to race back and forth to the yard with a truck load of loose silage that has to be packed into a pit. So one man gets the job done instead of three. The wrapped bales can be picked up later after chopping is finished and hauled back as time permits.
When you break open one of the bales, you still have the same type and quality of feed you’d get from a packed silage pit.
The 820 and 1210 models produce two sizes of bales ranging from 250 to 450 kilograms with the 820 and 600 to 1,000 kilograms with the 1210. A standard 540 PTO provides power to the Multibalers, which require only a 70-horsepower tractor for the smaller model and 90 for the larger 1210. The Multibalers can also be ordered with their own onboard diesel power supply.
Aside from taking silage directly from a forage harvester in the field, they can work in a stationary environment, allowing silage to be dumped into the onboard hopper with a grapple loader and processed into bales right in the farmyard.
Depending on the model and features, a multibaler will set you back something north of $140,000. The company’s website is gebrknoll.nl.