Kubota, senior product manager, Lars Pasedag said this surge was despite balers having had a strong market for about five years and a significant amount of hay being stored in 2016.
“Initially it looked like 2018 would be a huge year because there was so much hay still in sheds,” he said.
“However by April or May last year, people could see any hay left in the shed was going to go.”
Mr Pasedag said once hay prices stabilised and started to rise there was a distinct spike in baler upgrades and new sales.
“Many of the crops couldn’t be run through for grain, the risk was too high, so the prospect of selling it as high quality hay was very good as there was high demand.”
Mr Pasedag said the distinct spike in demand for big square balers was unusual.
“Usually the product is more like a combine harvester, it sells very well in the pre-season, people make up their minds early.
“While we were happy with pre-season sales, there was a distinct spike later in the season.”
Mr Pasedag said Kubota Australia’s line of Krone big square balers sold particularly well.
“Krone are celebrating 25 years of making Big Pack square balers,” he said.
“The innovation we have on these machines and the technological advances appeal to the customer.
“Baling heavier, baling faster, getting the product cleared off the paddock before the next rain and making better quality hay is a big thing.”
Mr Pasedag said the Krone Big Pack 1290 HDP II high density square baler produced a 10 per cent denser bale at the same ground speed as the previous model and 25pc denser bale than standard density balers.
“We are the market leader in high density balers,” he said.
“It means 25pc less storage area, 25pc more on the truck and less twine usage.”
Mr Pasedag said the HDPII also features twine boxes that fold down hydraulically.
“This allows you to fill the three levels of twine boxes comfortably from the ground,” he said.
“Because we have eight knotters we need to supply more twine, but also because the machine is so fast, the extra row of twine means you can bale longer without refills.”