Hay net/plastic sleever

2014 Annual Report for FNE13-775

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.

Hay net/plastic sleever


We are seeking to innovate and design a fast, economical user-friendly device to put a protective net or plastic sleeve/bonnet on round hay bales to preserve hay quality that is being stored outside for livestock. Is it time and labor saving, simple, one person friendly, be used on diverse equipment? Is it practical, economical and user-friendly?
We found some things that did not work in field test, like the use of a metal disk that supports the netting next to the vehicle and weaness in pipe fitting that supports the roll of netting, chain skipped on sprockets, top application of netting where corrections are now made.
In the new model I want to use a 12 volt gear box type of drive for bale rotation. The electric winch works but it is a strain. The advice I have received from a mechanic is it will be 10 times better.

Objectives/Performance Targets

We have made progress on our project: We found a pre-made casting with allen screws to use on the hay spear bale stabilizers that must be removed so bales of hay can rotate freely. This replaces the home made black pipe connectors.
We found the chain used to rotate the hay bales would skip some sprocket teeth when under a un-balance load. Idler sprockets on spring tension, is now used, when we mounted the 88 lb. roll of netting directly over the hay bale to be netted it was to high in air. This was unsafe and difficult to load. Now with side mount it is easy to load netting, lower to center of gravity and still unrolls netting on hay bale as it rotates. We replaced the metal disk used on each end of ne-roll with pvc adaptors from local hardware store. An automobile wheel bearing very strong works wonderful to support the rotation of the netting in and off the hay bale. Netting must be moved away from hay bale, so the bale can be secured in spiked spear then the netting is rotated directly on hay bale. This is done using porch springs etc., and a wireless remote 2500 lb winch, very convenient and efficient.


Still to be done is to cut the netting once it is sleeved on the hay bale. This is a very difficult task but with prayer and diligence we have come thus far.
We have reserved a venture spot on March 13 & 14, 2015 at the Appalachian Grazing Conference, Morgantown WVa. to display our hay bale net/plastic sleever.
All this is still in prototype, we plan on assembling a new unit for dispay on or sale with a parts list and assembly instructions.

We are thankful for this grant to give Fast Hay Movers, Inc. the assistance much needed, to advance in yet another savings for farmers.


John Murray

Technical Advisor
West Virginia University Extension Service
314 Monroe Street
Fairmont, WV 26554
Office Phone: 3043672772