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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 life.
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)