Balers are pieces of farm equipment designed to compress cut and raked crop into bales. Raked crop includes: hay, flax straw, cotton, silage, and salt marsh hay. Bales are easiest to transport and store for later usage. Bales come in cylindrical or rectangular shapes and bound with twine, netting, wire, or strapping.
The round baler is the most popular baler on the market. The crop is rolled into a cylindrical shape and then often bound with netting or twine to maintain its shape before being dropped out the rear of the baler. Round balers can produce bales that weigh 1,100 to 2,200 pounds, depending on the type of crop. There are mini-round balers that create smaller bales that weigh around 55 pounds.
The large rectangular baler is most often used with hay. The creation of rectangular bales means that the hay can be transported to a location and stacked for future use or transported for export. Large rectangular balers can create bales up to 2,000 pounds. Small rectangular were once available but are not widely seen in the modern age.
Industrial balers are also available but are designed for other materials than a traditional baler. Paper, corrugated fiberboard, foil, cans, and plastic are crushed and baled at recycling plants to make the recycling process easier.