Bale processor can do the twist

Big square bales are becoming increasingly popular but also pose a challenge for most producers towing a traditional bale processor.

Highline from Vonda, Sask., knew they would need to deliver a machine that could handle both round and large square bales.

A dry hay year means a lot of cattle producers are also buying feed from commercial forage producers, who rely on large square bales rather the round bales beef growers typically produce.

Glenn Brewster of Highline said tackling big square bales forced the company’s staff to look at how producers use the cubes and what limits their productivity.

The company had produced a 71 Series square bale processor a number of years ago, but made only 50 of them

“We wanted one that kept all the advantages of our current bale processors,” he said.

A big square bale can weigh 1,800 pounds and take a lot of power to lift when frozen into the ground.

Highline’s new CFR 960 can get the bales up but doesn’t need them to be in line with the machine. The unit loads bales perpendicular to the processor and then turns them so they flow into the hopper. It doesn’t need to use the turning feature for round bales.

The company also found that other designs were skidding or scrubbing the bales on other bales in the stack or on the ground, which caused losses and breakage. It designed the loader to lift the bales straight up to avoid the problem.

The twine release system cuts twine on round bales for rapid handling. The processor roller winds up the strings.

The company’s feed ration options, with fine chopper and grain metering, are still available with the new model.

“With the flail chopper option, we get very close to the needs of the dairy industry, especially if the baler has a (pre)chopper feature,” Brewster said.

“Increasing productivity for the beef guy, or in the feedlot, especially where (total mixed ration) processing is being done … allows those producers, often dairy folks, to speed up the time it takes to chew through the bales in the TMR wagons.”

The machine costs about $34,800 without the chopper and $41,650 if outfitted with the flail-chopper. Growers who want to add metered grain to their feed can pay $48,000 for a unit with a chopper and grain tank system.

Similar machines are marketed by Vermeer, Haybuster, Bale King and Tubeline. Look for related stories in coming editions of The Western Producer.

For more information about the CMR 960, visit


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