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The History of the Development of the Large Round Bale

The History of the Development of the Large Round Bale

By Smith

In 1964, R.W Van Keuren, an Ohio State University professor of agronomy and OARDC forage researcher, initiated a study on pasture for beef cows and calves at OARDC’s Southern Branch near Ripley and Southeastern Branch near Carpenter, in cooperation with Ohio State’s Department of Animal Science and the OARDC outlying Branches. Several years later the studies were expanded to OARDC’s Eastern Ohio Resource Development Center at Belle Valley. The hill lands of this region appeared to be a good area for beef cow-calf production. Although initially low in pH and phosphorus and low to medium in potash, the soils generally responded well to fertilization and had good forage yield potential.

good forage yield potential

Charlie Boyles, manager, EOARDC, and a Hawkbilt large untied bale, 1973

Because wintering represents two-thirds of the beef cow feed costs, the pasture studies were expanded to include year-round grazing. This all-season system included wintering the cows on small round bales left in the field and on the accumulated summer and fall regrowth. The bales were made with an Allis-Chalmers Rotobaler. The bales weighed about 40 to 50 pounds and kept well when left in the field where dropped. The herds were gazed during the summer pasture season on orchardgrass or bluegrass, with tall fescue used for the wintering portion. The early studies were with...

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