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GSBN:Re: Leaving bales bare
we need to understand the "cause of the cause."
and Habib wrote:
When ordering bales our clients are encouraged to ask how the bales are
stored and the weather conditions at the time of harvest.
I think that Habib's deceptively-simple one-liner is probably a major
factor in determining the ultimate susceptibility of dried bales to the
deleterious effects of the dreaded Dormant Spore Gang; that is that the
health and vigor of bales likely begins in the field .
ie Straw that is cut at the right time (ie not too green, not too dead),
properly dried in windrows and not rained upon before baling and then
stored properly until stacked in the wall, the key ingredient being
moisture, or more precisely, the lack thereof during each stage of its
To state the obvious, I would venture that the preceding (harvest/storage
conditions) determines the extent to which straw's natural defense
mechanism (ie its waxy coating) remains intact.
That is to say, moisture content readings will tell us the current state
of the straw
(dry or not dry) but it tells us nothing of its history and health and by
corollary its "mouldability". ie Straw that has begun to decay due to
poor harvesting/storage and was subsequently dried may still read "Dry" as
a result of a moisture check but its natural defense mechanism could be
shot to hell.
So in addition to a moisture meter when checking the suitability of bales
for building, perhaps what is also needed is a wax-o-meter ? In lieu of a
gizmological wax-o-meter, fortunately, most of us have been provided with
biological ones (eyeballs and hands).
~~~ * ~~~
Robert W. Tom
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
(winnow the chaff from my edress in your reply)