Welcome to Bale Baron UK
Former junior show-jumping champion Philip Langton knows the importance of getting grass off to a good start – and delivering for customers. Simon Wragg reports.
With two decades of experience and a discerning customer base, Philip Langton supplies high quality forage to equine customers across the Midlands.
Based at Holbrook, near Derby, the former show-jumping champion supplies small and big bale haylage, conventional bale hay and straw from a farmed area of about 400ha. And he knows how to kick-on in any season.
“We’ve equipment normally suited to a contractor as we need to take crops quickly to preserve quality,” says Mr Langton.
To put the business into perspective, over the past two seasons 150,000 conventional sized bales have been handled by a small, elite team delivering to around 100 customers.
Centre stage is dominated by a manageable 30kg 3ft bale of top quality wrapped haylage sold out at £8 apiece which has revolutionised the market, he adds. “The bales are uniform, easy to move individually with a sack truck, pull apart in thin wads and produce very little waste.”
Delivered by pick-up, trailer or tractor trailer loads depending on the customer’s requirements, each forage season is founded on having grass in good condition at the start. “I couldn’t run this business without the 1000 ewes which are our grass keepers rather than grass eaters,” he says.
The flock – which includes pure-bred Texel and Beltex used to breed replacement shearling tups for sale to commercial flocks – is used to stagger harvesting dates for each area of grass.
Having eaten off over winter, fresh re-growth ensures the first cut of grass in late spring produces a high energy/high protein forage. This is made into big bale haylage (around 6000 bales annually) and is typically suited to the sporting horse market.
This is then followed by a second cut eight weeks later in early summer providing conventional hay typically suited to the racehorse sector. A third cut is taken in September as a good general feed as small bale haylage. “It’s the beauty of ryegrass – it dries quickly even late in the season.
“But not every customer requires a high energy/high protein forage; there’s still a place for what’s traditionally seen as meadow hay which is why we can supply a range of different baled forage,” he explains.
A reseeding policy sees 60-120ha (150-300ac) put down to new seed each year. The focus is on ryegrass and white clover using seed mixes from supplier Cotswold.
Grass covers are brought on with regular applications of fertiliser – typically 20-10-10 – to compensate for the phosphate and potash removed from the soil with each cut of forage.
The fleet of machinery used within the operation is impressive. A Kuhn FC1360 centre pivot mower precedes a Kuhn GF13012 trailed tedder – the latter supplied from RVT and with a working width of around 13m. “It’s folds up narrower than a conventional tedder for the road and yet hugs the contours when folded out,” explains Mr Langton.
This sets up a crop for Simon Downing of Eaton Agri to come in with a Kuhn big baler for first cut which is joined by a fleet of Massey Ferguson 1840 in-line balers for later cuts processed into small bales.
“Simon also supplies wrappers for the big bales. It’s not uncommon to see two working in a field at any one time helping ensure we preserve the quality of the forage.”
For second and third cuts of conventional hay and straw a Canadian-manufactured Bale Baron 4245P follows to produce self-assembled wrapped blocks of 21 conventional-sized bales for ease of handling. “Having its own hydraulic oil supply it can handle 1000 bales/hour. It’s quite capable of keeping up with the three in-line balers in straw,” explains Mr Langton.
Later third cut small bale haylage is wrapped using a new Ingra wrapper manufactured in Italy. “The beauty of this machine is it can handle bales from 3ft to 4ft and turn out 100 an hour.
“Local contractor James Slack and my nephew, Ben, do the bulk of the bale transport using three high capacity Stewart trailers with load sensors and air brakes,” Mr Langton adds.
“Ben also takes control of stacking bales at our base at Moor Pool Farm which is a critical job in this size of operation. It’s also why each of the New Holland T6.175 four cylinder Dynamic Demand and T6.180 six cylinder tractors we’ve had from local dealer Hallmark have loaders fitted.
“This year we were very fortunate another talented tractor driver and operator came out of nowhere – Jake Adderson – putting in long hours and being very attentive.”
With the bulk of customers within a 20 mile radius, the business has forged links much further afield. “Last year a consignment of almost 2000 conventional hay bales went to a horse breeder in Sweden as the country was suffering a shortage.
“And again the beauty of the Bale Baron packs meant the courier’s curtain-sider lorries more suited to handling pallets were loaded and gone within the hour.”
Hi, I have received my speedy grease gun and locknlube coupler and used it for the 1st time yesterday and to say I was impressed would be an understatement. I went round the whole crane without it popping off any of the grease nipples. Finally a grease gun that you don’t need 3 hands to operate. Brilliant. I can’t leave a review on Facebook etc as I’m not on it but please feel free to use this review on any social media.Russel Figg
Replaced a teagle 8080 with a mchale two winters ago.
Both machines are well built and will last very well (if greased and adjusted periodically!!)
For myself the design and engineering of the Mchale seemed better for my job.
If using big hestons then you’ll need to spec the teagle with the side extensions or it chucks straw over the edge. The mchale doesn’t through stuff over the side.
The mchale comes with a wide angle pto as standard, this means you can keep the thing spinning moving between sheds.
The Mchale cross beater rotor is engaged independently of the flywheel. The latter is spun up to speed before there’s any chance of forage entering. This practically prevents blockages in straw. This also reduces wear on the tractor pto clutch by allowing the flywheel to be kept spinning between sheds without any stuff being blown out. The teagle will break a few shear bolts because if the bale isn’t fully blown out, it MUST be reversed from the cross beater before trying to restart the Pto. You dont need to reverse the Mchale floor.
Does the teagle come as standard with remote door and floor controls on the machine? They are (again!) standard on the Mchale and loading round bales you would not want to be without them!
When you block the flywheel on the teagle it involves much swearing, skint knuckles, and generally a fence post down the chute trying to force it backwards.
If you manage to block the Mchale, it has a very simple system of holes in the flywheel that you put a bar into which very quickly and easily clears it.
If you spec up the teagle to be the same as the Mchale, I doubt there’s much price difference. However there is a big difference in user friendliness!
The mchale has further significant advantages in engineering design when feeding out silage bales (which I have over a thousand a year of) but the op said it’s mainly for straw.
Would just like to say many thanks for the quick delivery of my order and also, it is the best grease gun that I have used and this is after trying many in my years!!!Andrew Pledger
Steve and his partner Penny grow 450 acres of grass in Lincolnshire specifically for the equine market. The introduction of the Bale Baron® has enabled us to bale and stack upto 4000 bales per day into the barn, with the help of only one loader driver. I like the Bale Baron® for it’s simplicity, with minimal moving parts and the proven double knot system of the Hesston knotters, identical to our own big baler. The Bale Baron® works quickly and does not hinder our Welger 830 baler.
Moving bales from the field is always a slow process, not with the Bale Baron®, trailers are loaded with 500/600 bales in approx half an hour. With a slight modification The Bale Baron® will tie packs of twelve, this is a great advantage to our small bale haylage business as we can wrap packs of twelve quickly and then wrap them as individuals when time allows.
This season we baled 35,000 hay bales and approx 8000 straw, in 2011 we aim to bale 60/70,000 hay and 10,000 straw. Lorries were previously loaded by hand, not any more, packs are loaded easily by teleporter, the only time we handle the bales is when we deliver to customers unless of course they have a machine!!!Steve and Penny
Convinced I needed to tap into the premium small bale equine market I was converted to small bale packing 5 years ago. I ran a Bale Bandit in the first year but could not achieve the capacity I required and therefore purchased a second Bale Bandit.
I continued for two years and eventually purchased an Arcusin Bale Packer to try to solve the problem of putting through the desired quantity of bales. I still found myself struggling and in desperation started to convert my customers over to big bales until I was introduced to the Bale Baron. Bale Baron UK convinced me that the Bale Baron® would meet the capacity and reliability that I needed.
In the first year I have baled over 42,000 bales and couldn’t have been more impressed with the Bale Baron and I am convinced that in a normal yielding year I could have easily baled the 60,000-70,000 bales that I am looking for. On top of all the other benefits of the Bale Baron® I have been able to use up my big bale twine left over from last year!Alastair Blaber
We have a Bale Baron… Hesston knotter stack puts 4 strings around 21 small bales… unbelievable bit kit…
British Farming Forum, 30 August 2012
Aaah… I see… we have the newer version… “Bale Baron”… best bit kit to be available to farmers in the 22 years I’ve been in farming… revolutionised the small bale job…
British Farming Forum, 21 June 2012
Hi, I have received my speedy grease gun and locknlube coupler and used it for the 1st time yesterday and to say I was impressed would be an understatement….