Hay net/plastic sleever

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2013: $5,631.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2016
Region: Northeast
State: West Virginia
Project Leader:
Lonnie Fast
Fast Hay Movers Inc.

Annual Reports

Information Products

Hay net/plastic sleever (Book/Handbook)


  • Agronomic: general hay and forage crops, grass (misc. perennial), hay


  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
  • Production Systems: general crop production

    Proposal summary:

    This project, hay net/plastic sleever uses your farm tractor with 3 pt. hitch and P.T.O. power to secure a netting or plastic covering on all sizes of round hay bales. It may also be used on Fast Hay
    Mover’s round hay bale transporters. Newer type hay balers can by purchased with a built-in net sleever. John Deere is $32,000 for a 4X5 size round baler. A commercial, stand alone wrapper sells
    retail for $12,800. This is not profitable for small farm operations. Kentucky University showed that round hay bales stored outside with no covering lost 25-35%. Net sleeved bales only lost 15%
    -25% while plastic sleeved lost only 4%-7%. A total parts list and assembly instructions will be available to farmers who will make this product for personal use on request. To those who have not
    the skill or time to manufacture this product, the net/plastic sleever will be available for purchase.

    This item will not only save farmers money from the purchase of a modern hay baler or commercial wrapper but conserve much good quality hay from spoilage, and prevent deep mud ruts and reduce erosion if used on a ATV, UTV, or compact tractor. The plastic used to sleeve the bales can be recycled resulting in minimal environmental impact. You will see this is a transport of hay bale operation. The bale is lifted on a hay bales spear, rotated – sleeved, and set for outside storage. One person, one transport, complete.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    In 1967, Betty and I purchased a 50 acre farm in north central W. Va. We purchased a Guernsey milk cow with a calf and grew to a herd of 35 head. Mostly we did a cow-calf operation, selling natural beef. Now we down sized to average approximately 10-15 head of cattle, 2 horses, 2 donkeys, plus chickens, geese, and ducks. As age comes to all of us, we must “work with our brains instead of our backs”.

    A new labor saving, cost reduction, environmentally friendly way to transport our round hay bales came by 'divine inspiration.' If our ATV could be used to bring the bales in from the field to fenced storage area, and then be transported to winter feeding, it would save fuel, wear on our 1962 tractor, and not make big ruts in our nice meadow. Thus the “Hay Baby” was born. Due to larger, heavier bales the “ Hay Mama” and “Hay Papa” are now manufactured, marketed, and sold throughout the USA from our farm to help people like us. Additional information on these products can be found at fasthaymovers.com.

    The net/plastic sleever will fit any of our 3 round hay bale transporters. The power source will be tire/ground driven. A farm tractor can also be used with the net/plastic sleever secured to a standard hay spear assembly and using the tractor’s P.T.O. as the power source.


    The 3-pt hay spear is a common implement used to transport round hay bales with farm tractors and skid lifts. We will use this implement. A round disk with a sealed bearing in center to fit the existing spear. This disk will have four protruding prongs spaced on disk. When stabbed into round hay bale it will allow the bale to rotate when lifted off the ground. A belt pulley is secured on the back side of the disk. Another pulley is secured on the frame of the spear assembly body. A P.T.O. Shaft is connected to this pulley and tractor P.T.O. for the power source or gear driven by our hay transporter. A tension pulley is used to activate the round hay bale in motion. Using unistrut that allows height adjustment welded to assembly in a vertical position. A horizontal pipe is mounted on top of unistrut that hinges. On this pipe a roll of netting or plastic is placed. As the bale of hay rotates, the netting or plastic is lowered on the bale. Thus sleeved as many rotations as desired. The netting or plastic is then raised manually or with an optional electric winch, cut-off, and ready for the next bale.

    When the net/plastic sleever is mounted on a Fast Hay Transporter a universal joint is used to fit male P.T.O. shaft. A gear is connected to the wheel lug bolts. This sprocket and chain is transfer power source that connects the P.T.O. shaft.

    My method is to build a working prototype using scrap steel, old gears, sprockets, and other supplies. Nothing is made or done, only a working probability.

    We know from University of Kentucky test that round hay bales net sleeved reduces hay loss to 15% to 25% and plastic sleeved hay reduces loss to 4% -7%. Our record will be testimony of those who make or purchase this product. A record will be kept on how it performs, on what make and size of tractor used or which of the three models of Fast Hay Movers used. What type, size, and model of an ATV, UTV or Compact Tractor is the hay net/plastic sleever connected. What size of hay bales are sleeved? How many bales are sleeved on one roll of net or plastic.

    We will continue to inform farmers at meetings held by our county extension agent, parades, and word of mouth. Above all, we have a internet site fasthaymovers.com. The hay net/plastic sleever will be presented there as it has drawn interest worldwide. We will share with others the parts list and assembly instructions by request for their personal construction and use. We may pursue a patent for protection against commercial production. SARE will be provided this information for viewing and filing with reports.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.