What equipment to choose when baling corn stover

Baling corn stover is a dirty task and requires some equipment. There are several factors to consider when choosing what you need, durability being key. We will look at everything in more detail in this article.


Your baler needs to be built to last and be built to last in the dust and dirt of a corn field. Therefore, special chains and system lubricants are useful; they will maintain the performance of the equipment in aggressive conditions.

Often you will have to pick up stems from uneven soil, so the load on the baler will be really serious. It is important that the equipment is equipped with strong teeth. The baler’s rubber-mounted teeth will provide better feed and be less likely to break. All this is extremely important, since even one day of downtime during the season due to repairs can be extremely expensive due to lost time in good weather for cleaning.

Also keep in mind that the baler will need tires with high flotation, since you will have to pack while moving along ridges of rough terrain. Durable semi-pneumatic gauge wheels help avoid punctures caused by corn stalks in the field. This is why it is better to use balers with a heavy construction; they can better withstand the loads and conditions of corn fields.

Productivity and efficiency

When baling corn stover, a large volume of rather coarse material enters the baler. Therefore, the equipment must be powerful and fast in order to pack as many bales as possible in a short time. You also need to remember about possible contamination due to working in a corn field. That is, features that help reduce blockages are desirable.

The corn stalks themselves are quite light. This is why most operators bale them as dense as possible to get a good bale weight. But since the material is voluminous, heavy-duty bearings in the rollers are needed. This helps withstand the forces in the bale chamber.

Bale packaging

Due to their high density and high volume, corn stalks do not hold together as easily in a bale as hay, for example. Inside such a bale there will always be a lot of pressure on the hay-knitting net. This is why farmers most often pack corn stover in a bale net wrap – it requires less time and turns around the bale compared to twine. This means you can pack more feedstuff in one day.

Make sure your net bale wrap can handle the corn stalks. Or buy Polypak Agri Net Wrap. This material is perfect for such a wrapper. Be sure to wrap the bales enough times. You will need 3-4 turns for the corn stover.

Moisture content of corn stover

Above, we have written so much about dirt, the need for a good and powerful baler and a bale net wrap that it may seem enough. Not really. You still need to control the moisture level of the feed stuff you package as you do with other crops. The ideal humidity level is 15%. Otherwise, you may encounter mold and other problems during storage. In addition, wet stems can cause additional problems such as clogging and deformation of the bale shape during baling.

Other important factors

Before you start using the baler, you need to prepare the field: mowing or raking the stems before baling. This means that there are also special strength requirements for the mower and stem chopper. The header must provide excellent flotation to more easily follow the contours of the field soil and reduce the likelihood of damage.

The cutting device must be durable to work in corn field conditions. To avoid damage to internal components due to rocks in the ground, shear protection is desirable. Also make sure the mower has the settings you need to ensure that the bagged corn hay is suitable for your farm’s needs.

If you have a rake with hydraulic suspension control for raking, then you can control the flow of feed into the baler. Consequently, the operator will be able to directly influence the dust and dirt in the bales quite easily.

Important! When purchasing a rake, be sure to check the compatibility with your baler. But there is good news: Polypak net bale wraps are compatible with 99% of balers in the world.