A Baler is a device that can pick up Straw and Dried Grass from the field, and transform them into Bales of Straw or Hay, respectively. These bales can then be picked up by a variety of machines, and used for a variety of purposes. Bales of these materials behave differently than the same materials picked up in loose form, and are easier to store for later use.
There are only 2 Balers available in the base game, and each produces bales of a different shape. Bale shape is incredibly important in many cases, so it may be necessary to own both machines.
List of Balers Edit
(€ / day)
|Recommended Tractor Power|
(kW / hp)
|58,000||140||2.6||51 / 70||Round|
|128,000||120||2.8||90 / 122||Square|
Notes for TableEdit
- Power Requirements as listed by the store do not match actual requirements in the game.
- Working Width is only an estimate. No solid data available.
- All Balers have a capacity of 4,000 liters, a maximum working speed of 25 km/h, and a Drawbar (Ball) hitch at the front.
The purpose of a Baler is to collect Straw and/or Dried Grass from the field, and then compact them into a specific shape, called a "Bale". In this new form, the compacted material is easy to store (though somewhat harder to handle) than the same materials in "Loose" form, and may serve purposes that the Loose form cannot.
The game offers two different kinds of machines that can perform this task, and each of these machines creates a bale of a different shape - either Round or Square. There is no machine that can alternate between shapes.
The Square Bale is often the preferred shape. It is a long rectangular bale, that can easily be stacked in storage piles. The Round Bale, while more difficult to handle and virtually impossible to store in neat stacks, is more suited for use in some bale-processing machinery, such as Bale Shredders and Bale Wrappers.
Each bale in made out of exactly 4,000 liters of material. Due to the specific way that Balers work, it is possible to make Straw Bales with very little actual Straw in them, or Hay Bales with very little actual Hay in them. However, in the strictest sense, a bale is made of 4,000 liters of its respective constituent material.
The two Balers in the game have many differences in the way they work, although the basis is very simple: The Baler must be pulled by a tractor (or other vehicle) over patches of Straw or Dried Grass that have been created by other machines. As the Baler passes, it collects the material from the ground, and compresses it into the appropriate shape. At that point, either the Baler itself ejects the bale to make room for a new one, or the player will be required to do so manually.
After Baling, there are several methods to pick up the resulting bales, transport them to other locations where they are needed, and/or put them into other machines. Front Loaders are the most straight-forward, but most cumbersome method of doing all of the above. There is also specialized machinery, such as Bale Loaders, which is specifically designed to make the task easier.
Creating Straw and Dried Grass Edit
Before a Baler can do any work, it is necessary to generate at least some amount of Straw or Dried Grass for it to process. Balers do not interact with any of the Crops, nor with any Mowed (green) Grass.
Straw is the simpler of the two materials, since it is a byproduct of Wheat and Barley harvests. As long as the Harvesters has the correct feature enabled, it will leave a trail of loose Straw on the ground behind it, as it passes through these crops. These trails of Straw are perfect for immediate pick-up and processing by a Baler.
Creating Dried Grass is a slightly more complicated affair. First, ripe Grass must be mowed, using a Mower. This will leave the field covered in loose Grass. Next, a Tedder must be towed over the loose Grass to turn it into Dried Grass. Grass never dries on its own, so this step is absolutely necessary. Finally, to make the Grass easier to pick up, a Windrower can be towed over it, condensing all of the Grass into thin trails, which a Baler can easily pick up.
Once trails of material have been prepared, the Baler can be put to work. It will need to be unfolded, lowered to the ground, and activated by its towing tractor - which will require that tractor to supply a certain amount of power. Vehicles that can tow a Baler but cannot supply it with power (such as the Lizard PiQup, or small tractors) cannot turn the device on at all.
As it is towed over the material on the ground, the Baler will automatically pick up any of the material that touches its working head. It will begin generating the bale immediately, using this material. Once 4,000 liters of the material have been picked up, the Bale is complete and can be unloaded. It is not possible to unload the bale until it has been completed.
Depending on the exact model of Baler you are using, the bale will require a different process to be unloaded from the Baler. This either happens automatically (as is the case with the New Holland Big Baler 1290), or require the player to manually open the device and eject the bale (as with the New Holland Roll Belt 150).
In either case, the bale will now be on the field, awaiting pick-up by another machine.
Mixing Straw and Hay Edit
A Baler can create bales of either Straw or Hay. These two types of materials have very different uses in the game. The type of bale created by the Baler depends on what material it picks up from the field. Dried Grass will create green-colored Hay bales, while Straw will create yellow-colored Straw Bales.
A Baler can pick up both Straw or Dried Grass regardless of what substance is already inside the machine. This means that you can mix up Straw and Dried Grass in the machine at will. However, there is no such thing as a "mixed bale" of Straw and Hay together - the resulting bale will be made entirely of either Straw or Hay, even if you picked up two different substances while creating that bale.
The type of bale created depends only on the last material you picked up when the amount of material in the machine hit 4,000 liters. The exact quantities of either material inside the machine are entirely irrelevant. For example, you can pick up 3,999 liters of Dried Grass, and then pick up only 1 liter of Straw, to get a full Straw bale of 4,000 liters, simply because the Straw was picked up last.
This allows for a potential exploit, in case you have an abundance of one material and a shortage of the other. Simply use the abundant material as "filler", and when the machine is nearly full simply pick up a bit of the other material.
Picking up Bales Edit
As the Baler works, it will leave behind a trail of the Bales it had created. There are multiple ways to pick these up and put them to use.
The most straight-forward way to pick up bales is through the use of a Front Loader, equipped with a Bale Fork, Bale Handler, Pallet Fork, or any other device that might be able to do the job. Of course, a Front Loader can have trouble picking up more than one bale at the same time, so this makes the work cumbersome - especially if you need to then carry the bale elsewhere.
To alleviate some of the problems with Front Loaders, it is possible to purchase a Bale Trailer, which is little more than a flat platform that can be towed by a vehicle. The Front Loader can place several bales on this platform, and once ready, the entire platform can then be ferried to wherever the bales are needed.
A more elegant solution is to purchase a specialized machine to handle this work: a Bale Loader. This is essentially a Bale Trailer that can pick up Bales on its own, using an automated device that activates whenever it is in close proximity to a bale. Once full, the entire Bale Loader can then be towed to any location. A Bale Loader is both easy to use and has a high capacity. It can speed up the work by a wide margin. Note that Bale Loaders are also specialized in what type of Bale they can work with - some work only with Square Bales, and others only with Round Bales.
Finally, Round Hay Bales can be processed by an even more interesting and unique device: the Bale Wrapper. This machine grabs the bale off the ground, wraps it in plastic, and instantly transforms it into a bale of Silage. The bale can then be sold, or used in production of Cow feed.