The Kverneland FastBale is no longer a novelty; the machine, designed to bale, wrap and eject without stopping, has been available on the market since 2016.

Over the intervening years, the company has had ample opportunity to sort out the gremlins and get it to work in all crop conditions.

Sales in Ireland were never immediate; the Irish farmer and contractor having apprehension around any new baler that claims it can deal with the quantities and condition of the grass which they will be required to deal with in this part of the world.

Yet the FastBale is accumulating a fanbase as its merits are appreciated more widely.


There are now around 20 machines at work in Ireland according to Kverneland and the pool of genuine interest is constantly expanding.

No stopping the FastBale

Naturally, it is the concept of not needing to stop to eject a bale which holds the greatest attraction for operators; this not only saves time but is also easier on the towing tractor as it needn’t be stopping and starting all the time.

FastBale reversing
The need to stop bales rolling away on slopes can, on occasion, negate the main advantage of the FastBale

This in turn will save fuel, and so the premium being paid for a FastBale over a standard model starts to look a lot less alarming when the time and fuel savings are mixed into the calculation.

However, there is a third great advantage that is now more often being talked about and concerns the standard of bale being produced.

Basic baler choice

Traditionally, farmers have had the choice between a fixed chamber or a variable chamber baler. The fixed type dominates the market in Ireland because it is said to suffer less blockages and problems of belts being dislodged.

FastBale wrapping table
The FastBale is a large machine that hides its bulk well due to its styling

Yet, because it compresses the grass from the centre outwards it produces a tighter bale of consistent density throughout, unlike the fixed chamber type which compresses the crop from the outside in, reducing the density towards the core.

The FastBale offers a sort of halfway house in that there are two fixed chamber balers, mounted one in front of the other, with what may be described as a mechanical valve which directs the crop into one chamber or the other.

Diagram of fastbale
The two chambers of the baler are shown here with the primary chamber being filled while the second chamber ejects a completed bale. The valve plates are shown in yellow

The smaller primary chamber sits above the pick-up reel and to form the bale, the valve plates direct the crop into it from below.

This chamber is half the diameter, or a third of the volume, of the secondary chamber and so starts to compress the grass a lot closer to the bale’s centre, increasing the core density by doing so.

Primary chamber ejection
The primary chamber opens to allow the newly formed bale core to be carried into the second or finishing chamber

When this smaller chamber is full, the valve plates switch over to feeding the crop into the main chamber.

As it does, the small chamber immediately opens and ejects its pre-formed bale into the crop flow which carries it into the final chamber where the bale is completed and ejected for wrapping as normal.

Wrapping table in raised position
The wrapping tables sits in a raised position to allow the wrapping arms to pass underneath

The wrapping table itself is a solid affair that drops to catch the completed bale as it exits the machine and then rises to allow the wrapping arms to pass underneath.

Once the bales is wrapped, it drops again to release it onto the ground.

Solidity and quality

This two-stage baling process does visibly produce a good square-shouldered bale that appears to hold its shape better than those formed in a conventional fixed chamber baler.

There also appears to be less air trapped under the film which can only help in preserving feed value.

The FastBale was designed to increase the baling work rate and that it no doubt does when working on open flat land.

However, on slopes, the danger of bales rolling away downhill still requires the tractor to be reversed to place the bale at right angles to the slope.

Shoulder of bale
The end product has a good square shape to the shoulder

This problem is compounded by the tendency of a harder bale to roll more easily than a softer one, thus necessitating the need for preventative action.

Despite this drawback the FastBale appears to represent a huge leap forward in baling technology, it has reached a stage now where other manufacturers are in danger of being left behind and their premium machines looking a little dated.