Baling short chopped grass

Baling short chopped grass

The agricultural business is continuously looking for improvements in a competitive environment. Low milk prices motivates search for improvements. Are there opportunities for both reducing cost and at the same time improving productivity? Take a look at the three main benefits with feeding chopped grass baled with an Orkel compactor.


mp2000 x viggja 2019 korr1 komp

Orkel MP2000-X baling short chopped grass

#1: Forage quality

For the dairy and beef industry, forage is a critical resource. Forage represent the main cost of dairy and beef production and the quality of the forage strongly influence animal performance as well as veterinary costs.

The main challenge with conserving forage is oxygen. When forage is exposed to oxygen, several important nutrients are lost and studies show that you can lose up to 30% of the nutrients when conserving forage in a bunker/pit silo. In an environmental aspect, this leads to a corresponding need for cultivated land. It also means that your cattle need more forage to produce the expected amount of milk and meat. Cows are reacting to quality and structure of the forage. Garbage in is garbage out.


Screenshot 2020 01 20 at 14.17.50

Comparing silage from bales with silage from silo

Forage in bales are proven to have a loss of only 1-2% of nutritions. This is due to the compaction and tight film wrapping keeping the nutrition within the bale.

A study done by CRV Holland, comparing forage from Orkel bales with bunker silo, showed some interesting figures: Cattle fed with forage from Orkel bales produced 30% more milk with 28% more fat, 22% more protein and 60% lower cell count.
Gold in is gold out.

#2: Higher forage intake


cattle eating bale komp

Cattle prefer forage from bales. Photo: Nobre Nutrição Animal

Research institutes world-wide have been looking at the effect of short chopped grass compared to long stemmed grass. The Norwegian research institute Bioforsk, connected to the Norwegian AG university, presents figures showing the effect of feeding chopped forage of 1 inch (2,5 cm) compared to 2,5 inch (7,5 cm).

For the two situations, the forage intake was accordingly 25 lb (11,3 kg) dry matter for the short chopped grass, compared to 22,7 lb (10,2kg) dry matter for the long stemmed grass. This difference in forage intake of 10 %, resulted in an increase of milk yield as well as higher fat content.


#3: Reduced costs

Increased density
An important advantage of short chopped material is increased density. Studies comparing baling of forage of 2-6in chop length to 1in, shows an increased density of approx. 25 - 30 % when baling with the Orkel compactor. 25% higher density means 25% less costs in logistics as well as less cost in film wrapping.

High density less logistics

Up to 30% higher density means fewer bales and less use of film wrapping

Baling on the farm yard and baling on the field

Die Grüne, an agriculture magazine in Switzerland, did studies in 2019 comparing the costs of grass harvesting. They compared harvest, transport, baling and operator costs in these two cases:

  • Baling grass with normal stender length on the field with a traditional combi grass baler
  • Using a harvester and baling short chopped grass with the Orkel compactor

The results:

  • Cost per bale with a combi baler: EUR 45,16
  • Cost per bale with harvester+compactor: EUR 34,92

Not only does the harvester+compactor provide you lower production costs, the forage quality is also improved due to higher density. Your cattle will get more nutrition and produce more milk and meat making you more profitable.


harvesting grass

Harvesting grass in Norway

Benefits of baling with an Orkel compactor:

  • 25-30% higher density
    Compared to conserving your forage in a bunker or tower silo, the density will be up to 30% higher. High density means less oxygen and better forage quality
  • High forage quality
    Tight film wrapping and high density makes sure the nutrients are kept within the bale. You avoid big nutrient losses in your forage.
  • Easy logistics
    Forage in bales is easy to handle. The bales can be stored anywhere, and up to 36 months.
  • Easy market access
    Forage in unit packages is easy to buy and sell.
  • High animal performance
    Forage in bales is more appetizing to your cattle making them eat more and produce more milk.
  • Less use of film wrapping
    Higher density compared to a traditional grass baler, means fewer and heavier bales and less use of film wrapping. This is good for the environment and your profit!



You are welcome to contact us on for more information about our technology and how it can make you more profitable.

Wishing you a good harvest!

Chopped grass Forage quality Benefits of baling

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