Baling and Storing
Baling can be done with any kind of baler. Large round, soft-core balers may be most satisfactory in allowing bales to dry more quickly in storage. For some industrial processes, the buyer may require a uniform large, square bale to fit into the processing system. This may present a challenge in preventing spoilage if the bales are stored for later delivery, because square bales are packed more tightly, allowing less air passage, than round bales. Sisal or hemp twine must be used to tie bales because polyester and plastic twines become contaminants in the processing of hemp fibres.
Bales must be stored indoors under dry conditions to stop the retting process before the fibres become rotted. Stalk moisture should be less than 15% at time of baling, and should continue to dry to about 10%. 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.
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