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Forgotten Tech: Other companies besides New Holland made early hay balers.

July 22, 2021

2 Min Read
vintage John Deere baler
RECOGNIZE THIS MACHINE? This was John Deere’s early entry into the hay baling equipment business. Did it use twine or wire? Tom J. Bechman

If you’re walking through a farm machinery museum, you will find hay loaders — large, massive machines used to load loose hay on wagons. Next you will find the first hay balers, which produced small, rectangular balers. New Holland made the first self-tying baler, so you might find a red one trimmed in yellow.

In a museum in Britt, Iowa, you will also find the baler pictured. This John Deere baler marked the company’s entry into modern hay baling. Name the model of the baler, or explain whether it used wire or twine, and you could earn a gift card. See below.

Forage cutter

Several people recognized the Forgotten Tool in the July issue and in this blog as an ensilage cutter and blower. Men would bring bundles of stalks to the machine, then feed individual stalks into the cutter. It would chop them into pieces and blow them into a silo. Once forage harvesters appeared, these machines became antiques.

Papec silage cutter and blower

What only a few people realized is that the machine pictured was made by Papec, once a big name in forage harvesting equipment. The company, now defunct, was at one time based in Shortsville, N.Y. The company used the red color scheme on some forage choppers, but also used a darker color on some early choppers.

The winner of the gift card drawing was Larry Rosentreader, Churubusco, Ind. If you know the model of the baler pictured, or whether it used twine or wire, email [email protected], call 317-431-8766, or write to P.O. Box 247, Franklin, IN 46131.

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