Hesston High-Volume Balers

Hesston® balers handle whatever big yields throw at them.

By Becky Mills

Dennis Pennington

Dennis Pennington

For Dennis Pennington, harvest is a particularly satisfying part of switchgrass production. He and his family own a Hesston 4790 baler that churns out 3- by 4-foot bales from his family’s farm, as well as the biofuel research plots at Michigan State University.

He especially appreciates the baler’s speed and volume. “We can bale large quantities of biomass relatively quickly. That’s significant because switchgrass makes large windrows.

“The pickup mechanism for the 4790 is designed for high-volume input. We were using the square baler when the grower in the next field was using a round baler. We were putting hay out almost twice as fast.”

Pennington also likes the 4790’s crop-cutter mechanism and rotating drum. “As you make the bale, it cuts the stems in sections as short as 4 inches. They break apart easier at the refinery.”

He says they also use the baler, which came from Hofferbert Sales near Bannister, Mich., on around 800 acres of wheat straw a year. Area dairies mix the straw with other feedstuffs for Total Mixed Rations. Pennington and his family also bale their alfalfa and grass hay, oats and rye, and use the 4790 for custom baling. “You name it,” he says.

For more information on our biomass equipment, please visit and search Hesston Biomass Solutions.

<< Read more on baling switchgrass and other expert advice about biomass crops in “Biomass Upstarts.”