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  • Pete Ganze

Hemp Baling, Transportation and Weight

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

ORKEL BALER: While drying Vermont’s 2019 materials, the baling was performed by using an Orkel baler. The bales were left out in a field for several months, and some bales were picked up as recent as June 2020. Only 3 of the 180 Orkel bales were deteriorated, the remainder were “fresh,” green and easily dried. Other bales did not perform as well.

We provide cold storage regardless of what baler you use.

REDUCING SHIPPING COSTS: As part of our drying process, we use a screw press to squeeze approximately 1000 lbs. of water out of a 2100 lbs. bales before we put the biomass into our vacuum freeze-drying machines. If you have access to a screw press, the bale weight could be substantially reduced by half,

After the screw press, a truck could handle approximately 36 bales if double stacked, but if you do not have this available a flatbed truck can hold approximately 20-24 bales weighing approximately 2100 lbs.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/crop15539/$file/HempHarvestStorage.pdf?OpenElement

"Expedient cutting and baling will minimize fiber wrapping and allow better baling efficiencies. If retting is desired a considerable time between cutting and baling may be necessary. Sisal or hemp twine should be used as poly twine can contaminate the fiber. Plastic net wrapping can be used as it is easily removed.

Information from Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs indicates that stalk moisture should be Page 26 of 31 less than 15 per cent at time of baling, and should continue to dry to about 10 per cent in the bale. Once moisture is under 15 per cent no more retting will take place. Round bales may be stored outdoors for a number of years in prairie conditions, but big square bales absorb more rainfall and must be stored under cover to prevent rotting. No observations have been made to date on bales stored under plastic, but experience with hay storage indicates that moisture would be wicked up from the ground and some spoilage would take place unless the bales are separated from the bare ground. This often occurs even on deep gravel floors indoors.

Hemp straw also absorbs air moisture quite readily. Larger round balers, solid or hollow core, and large square balers are adequate for baling hemp straw. Large round bales with hard cores may be the best as they are denser and will not pick up moisture during storage.

Some processors may require large square bales to facilitate easy handling. Because of their large surface area large square bales will absorb rainfall where round bales will shed rainfall. Spoilage is a much larger concern for large square bales if not covered."

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