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Home > Media> 1999

19 October 1999

Media Release
Southern Rural Life

Wool’s pressing issue

Farmers, truckies and brokers should crack down on badly pressed wool bales, says WoolPro Otago/Southland extension specialist Robert Pattison.

Incorrectly pinned bales, with exposed razor-sharp points, have been turning up at wool stores and wool scours in the area, and can cause serious injury to the people who have to handle them.

Some bales have pins ‘daisy-chained’ across them to join flaps that do not overlap -- a very dangerous practice.

“If packs like these are detected at any stage, that’s where they should stop.

“Farmers shouldn’t allow the bales out of the woolshed if they’re not done correctly, and truckies should refuse to pick them up. If the brokers receive bales like that they should repack them and charge the farmer.

“By doing this, at least it will get the message back very quickly.”

Badly pressed bales are almost always the result of poor technique, incorrectly set up presses and inexperience. Often, it’s a combination of all three.

Pattison says the key to getting the bales right is to fit the pack correctly into the box, so that the seams come right up to the top.

A false bottom in the press box will help if the box is too tall. The depth of the box should be around 1 metre.

Generally, the ‘hump’ of wool from the centre of the bale should be removed before capping off to enable the flaps to be closed. Finished bales should not exceed 1.25 metres in height.

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