Bale wrapper versatility means fodder options.

The versatility of the McHale 998 square bale wrapper is providing highly beneficial options for a northern New South Wales farmer that bales up to 500 hectares each month through the season.

David Wallace’s business (Manuka Chaff Pty. Ltd.) is based at Quirindi where David employs eight people. David grows Lucerne and is a specialist in chaff and other feeds for the racing industry. In addition to Lucerne grown on its own 145ha farm, Manuka Chaff also bales material on suppliers’ properties and transports it to Quirindi for processing.

Hay is supplied to the chaff mill or conventional fodder markets, while wrapped silage is supplied to coastal dairy farmers, local northern NSW beef producers, and to innovative new products for the equine market.

Working with two New Holland balers producing 3’x3′ square bales respectively, the Manuka Chaff operation covers between 300 and 500 hectares each month through the main hay and silage season of October to March. However that period can be extended by seasonal conditions and, now, by the versatility of the McHale 998.

„With the McHale – which will wrap both bale sizes – I can take advantage of an early season in mid-to-late September which is usually risky, or a late season running into April or May, and make silage instead of hay,” David explained.

„Similarly, during the season if local weather conditions – rain or heavy dews or frosts – increase the risks for making quality hay, the McHale provides the means to readily consider the option of producing silage instead”, David added.

„I have the option of deciding whether (a paddock) is a hay project or a silage project.” The benefits include minimisation of risk and possible extensions of the season.

Manuka Chaff’s home farm is sub-divided into thirteen 30-acre blocks. However we work on some big blocks – up to 400 acres. „Time is critical. In two days we can get a lot of country off”, David commented.

He became aware of the McHale bale wrappers through the Internet and representations by local dealer Roger Moylan of North West Farm Machinery, Quirindi.

Price was certainly not an issue in the purchase, however reputation and perceptions of quality construction and performance were. Reliability and capacity are essential. Manuka Chaff’s McHale 998 has already wrapped about 18,000 bales.