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Re: GSBN:Re: Leaving bales bare


...  I would encourage to ask the supplier for proper "golden" bales, with
no rain after harvesting and less possible humidity on the ground....

Something similar: we once had a discussion on small beetle creatures. They
don't seem to survive much in conventional straw, but rather in organic

If properly plastered on both sides, there seem to be no a problem, thus
"best experience"...

Using straw-bales for roof insulation, I thought of placing dipped (lime)
strawbales and spraying one layer on top. There will be ventilation for the

Preventive question: did anyone with roofinsulation discovered beetle
problems or has some additional insights?

Best wishes, Martin

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rene Dalmeijer" rene.dalmeijer@...
To: "GSBN" GSBN@...
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2005 12:56 PM
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re: Leaving bales bare

> Derek and others,
> I am very grateful for Derek's extensive reply as he crosses many T's I
> failed to cross in my initial posting.
> On Jan 19, 2005, at 01:26, Derek Roff wrote:
> >> Fresh dry bales are basically relatively spore free.
> >
> > Relatively spore free, compared to ???
> Bales that have been sitting around under usual not so carefully
> controlled storage at least what is usual here in The Netherlands.
> These bales seem to be well infected with spores just waiting to sprout
> mushrooms under sufficiently moist circumstances. Being prudent when
> sourcing bales is very important.
> > Various decay-causing mold and
> > fungus spores are endemic to the environment where the straw was grown
> > and
> > harvested.  Spores are present in small quantities throughout the
> > field,
> > the baling machinery and within the bale itself.  Spore distribution is
> > determined by the environmental balance of the area.
> And my I humbly add: under the specific weather conditions before and
> when they were baled. Having the right 'vintage' bales besides
> plastering might be a key element in the longevity of a SB house.
> >
> >> If these bales are rapidly encased in plaster there is very little
> >> chance
> >> that the straw will be infected with new fungus spores.
> >
> > I doubt the importance of this, although the local environment could
> > make a
> > difference.  There aren't many new spores in the air, if we are talking
> > about an outdoor building site that isn't too close to a blooming mold
> > or
> > fungus colony.  In Rene's location, perhaps this is a big issue.
> > However,
> > if the bales are stacked in the same general environment where the
> > straw
> > grew, then the quantity and variety of the rot-inducing critters will
> > not
> > increase much with exposure to ambient air.  Dusting the exposed
> > surface of
> > a bale wall with a few dormant spores is not a good way to inoculate a
> > bale.  Those spores will stay dormant on the outside surface of the
> > bale,
> > until the bale gets wet.
> >
> >
> >> I think the main thing separating these cases is the presence
> >> or lack of- spores in the bales.
> >
> > Granted, this is the cause of the difference.  But we need to
> > understand
> > the "cause of the cause."  I think picking up a few dormant spores on
> > the
> > bale surface is insignificant.  I believe that what makes the biggest
> > difference is the presence of developed colonies (for some
> > micro-organisms)
> > and magnitude of the total number of decay-producing organisms.  This
> > is
> > more likely to be controlled by the number of times, and the length of
> > each
> > time, when the decay-causing spores/molds/fungi in a given bale have
> > the
> > conditions needed to move out of dormancy and into the growth and
> > reproduction phases.
> >
> > Following on to my previous assertion, adding a few dormant spores to
> > the
> > surface of a bale increases the total spore count throughout the bale
> > by a
> > tiny fraction.  Giving all the micro-organisms in the bale a few hours
> > of
> > growth time can increase the total spore count of the bale by many
> > thousands of times.  Giving some kinds of micro-organisms a chance to
> > organize their colonies before returning to dormancy, allows them to
> > reproduce much more rapidly and aggressively than a similar number of
> > scattered individuals.  I think these latter differences cause the
> > problems, and the diverse decay rates that we have seen in bales.
> >
> > I could be wrong.  It would be great to get some biologists involved in
> > researching this question.  It will present a challenging research
> > design.
> > In the meantime, I endorse Rene's suggestion to always plaster the
> > bales as
> > quickly as possible, and add the suggestion that we do everything
> > possible
> > to keep all the micro-organisms in the bale dormant as completely and
> > continuously as possible.
> >
> I agree wholeheartedly with Derek on this. The chances of serious new
> inoculation of the bales with wind blown spores is insignificant
> compared to the effects of blooming already existent spores due to even
> superficial wetting given enough time and or suitable circumstances.
> (>15C, 20% rel)
> In most cases all that we can do besides carefully sourcing and
> selecting bales is to rapidly and fully encase the bales with plaster
> endeavouring to do what Derek suggests in his last sentence.
> Straw and bales exhibiting grey flecks should be avoided this indicates
> fungus growth and most probably blooming with high spore inoculation.
> The old and very true advice is that bales should be bright yellow.
> Rene
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