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Mini round bales turn heads

Area farmer finds niche market in making and selling mini round bales

ST. PAUL - When he's out in the field making mini round bales, Roger Bachelet says he's noticed that he gets a few looks as people drive past. While most fields have large, round bales scattered across the landscape at this time of the year, Bachelet has found a niche market in making mini round bales.

Based out of the Brosseau area, Bachelet was working just south of St. Paul last week, making bales on piece of land his cousin farms. He was aiming to make about 250 bales from oat straw.

The equipment he uses is modest - a small Kubota tractor, and a baler that he bought second hand. The baler is barely waist height and was purchased out of Manitoba. 

This year, Bachelet says he's made 5,000 mini round bales. The bales measure 20" in height and 27" in length, making them barely twice the height of some of the stubble that remains in the field. 

When asked what the benefit of a mini round bale is over a square bale, Bachelet says his customers like the fact that they can handle the bales easier, roll them to move them, and they also stay together and don't fall apart like some square bales do. Overall, he says the quality is more consistent and they store better.

Many of Bachelet's customers are involved in chuckwagons or Indian relay races, and are scattered throughout the region. He often uses an old school bus to transport the bales.

There is also a "novelty" around the mini round bales, and some of the older farmers remember Allis-Chalmers coming out with a mini round baler, many years ago, says Bachelet.

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