Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Baling Twine Part 1

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Rachel Gilker
Rachel Gilker
Rachel's interest in sustainable agriculture and grazing has deep roots in the soil. She's been following that passion around the world, working on an ancient Nabatean farm in the Negev, and with farmers in West Africa's Niger. After returning to the US, Rachel received her M.S. and Ph.D. in agronomy and soil science from the University of Maryland. For her doctoral research, Rachel spent 3 years working with Maryland dairy farmers using management intensive grazing. She then began her work with grass farmers, a source of joy and a journey of discovery.


  1. Hi Rachel, any chance you have any good information on using sisal twine? We buy all our hay and I can’t find anyone that uses sisal, which I would like to use in my bale grazing system. While I find plastic twine useful, I generally agree with Michael that it’s more trash/litter/hazard than useful and I like that sisal biodegrades.
    I got one custom cutter to try sisal with his round baler but it was a disaster for him and he spent three hours resetting to plastic (and cursing me the whole time) and had similar results with a neighbor and his small square baler.
    Would greatly appreciate any information you can offer.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Albert,
      Great question! I’ll look for information, and we’ll see if we can publish an article on this.

  2. Ha! Good ones. Emergency boot laces, -belts, suspenders, seen it used for rugs (woof or weft, one of them, and something else to weave into it), good toe catcher, rope, straps and none goes to waste. And, for those who hate it, recylers who take plastic will accept it.

    • True. But they won’t come out to my fields and pull it out of the ground, or unwind it from a mower spindle, or dig it out of a hay feeder. They also won’t remove it from your ruminant’s digestive tract.

  3. I’ll be the voice of dissention.

    I hate the stuff. Especially the poly kind. It won’t biodegrade in a thousand years. Litters the whole place. Jams equipment. It’s worse than Wal-Mart bags for turning up where it’s not wanted.

  4. My wife aka the Milkmaid uses baling twine to keep her old worn out winter coat closed (no zipper) and around the neck.

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