Scaled-Down New Holland Baler Makes "Mini Bales"
A Pennsylvania company is doing a booming business scaling down New Holland small square balers to make decorative 16 to 24-in. long bales that weigh just 6 to 8 lbs.
"They look like the real thing. There's a market for them for decorating, landscaping, and other uses," says Sam Esch, Strasburg, Penn.
His company rebuilds used New Holland 310 or 273 small square balers that are about 20 years old. They scale down the pickup and knotter and replace the original bale chamber with a smaller one. They also cut down the shielding around the modified parts so everything looks proportional.
"Rebuilding a baler this way is much less expensive than trying to build a new mini baler from scratch," says Esch. "Another advantage is that parts and service for the baler are available through New Holland dealers. You can average 10 to 15 bales per minute.
"Bales made by the original baler measure 14 by 18 inches. The mini bales look just like the original ones except they're 8 by 11 in. They sell for up to $2.50 apiece. Pet stores often sell the bales in bags, which the customer takes home and uses as bedding for their pets. Some people are even floating small barley bales in ponds -- inside small cages -- to get rid of algae."
Esch says you can use the baler normally in the field or set it up as a stationary unit and use an electric motor to power it. "Some people with big round balers use the baler this way. They set the round bales off to the side of the field to save time. Later, they unravel the bales on a conveyor and feed them into the mini baler."