Farmers Guardian
Word ‘milk’ banned for use in branding of plant-based products

Word ‘milk’ banned for use in branding of plant-based products

This Is Agriculture - Sponsored

This Is Agriculture - Sponsored



Auction Finder

Auction Finder

You are viewing your 1 free article

Register now to receive 2 free articles every 7 days or subscribe for unlimited access.

Subscribe | Register

Safety issues raised around farm round bale stacking methods

With the practice of stacking round bales on end becoming increasingly common in the UK, farmers are being warned about the impact this method has on on-farm safety and the silage itself.

Share This

Safety issues raised around round bale stacking methods

Rhun Fychan, from Aberystwyth University, headed up a study into bale stacking and says while there are many cases of farmers stacking bales on end successfully, on-farm safety could be more easily compromised.


He says: “Although there are less than 10 per cent of farmers in the UK stacking bales in this way, it does concern me as I have seen whole stacks collapsing without warning.


“Round bales can often become misshaped, especially when young, high digestibility grass is ensiled. Bales stored conventionally slot into one another safely, but when stored on end, a whole stack can become dangerous.


“Stacking bales in the rain or when there is dew on their surface, often the case on many farms as it is a job left until the morning or when the weather turns, is also dangerous. These are more likely to slide and topple as bales do not bond together and easily slip.

Read More

A closer look at clamping kit designed to improve silageA closer look at clamping kit designed to improve silage
Are non-stop round balers the future?Are non-stop round balers the future?
Calf rearers focused on liveweight gainsCalf rearers focused on liveweight gains
'Extremely popular' farmer killed while collecting silage bales'Extremely popular' farmer killed while collecting silage bales
Vet's view: Be alert for staggers after rapid onset of spring grassVet's view: Be alert for staggers after rapid onset of spring grass

“At feed-out, unstacking bales on end is also more difficult with movement and toppling of upper layers a lot more unpredictable.”


According to the study, stacking on end is popular in Ireland.


However, Mr Fychan points out in the majority of cases there, bales stored on end are in single layer.

In the UK, stacks are three, four and even five rows high.


He says “Stacking on end at this height is fine when storing hay and straw indoors, but silage or haylage can be a lot more unstable and
likely to collapse.


“There are suggestions this method results in less physical damaged to the bale-wrap, leading to less mould on bales, but there is no research which proves this.

“A study conducted by Teagasc, Ireland found significantly more mould on bales stored on end than those stored conventionally.


“The latter are usually handled by cradling from below, while on end bales have to be squeezed during handling. This squeezing can cause damage to bale-wrap.”


Mr Fychan adds conventionally stored bales will form a ‘honeycomb’ affect as bales mould into each other, giving an additional seal to each bale in close contact with the next.


He says this advantage is lost when bales are stored on end, leaving them vulnerable to air ingress and mould growth.


He says: “While there are farmers out there doing this, and doing it well, on end storage clearly presents more risks than benefits and should be discouraged to ensure on-farm safety is not compromised.”

Safety guidelines


UK Health and Safety guidelines on round bale stacking state:

  • The safest method of stacking round bales is on their sides in a pyramid
  • Stacking round bales on their ends can lead to unstable stacks because inconsistent
    bale density allows bales to settle and shift
  • Only consider stacking bales on their ends if they are to be stored within a building
  • The maximum stack height of round bales should be roughly three times the bale diameter
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

Most Recent