I can just remember hay being prepared in sheaves, which then had to be stooked
past tense: stooked; past participle: stooked
arrange (sheaves) in stooks.
“the sheaves were stooked by hand”
into stooks of 10-15 sheaves, loaded onto a truck
and then built into a stack.
The only mechanical assistance help one had,
was a truck, or horse and dray,
to carry the sheaves to the stack,
and a pitch fork.
Then along came mechanical hay balers
which made ‘small square’ bales.
Although they were anything but square.
Literally thousands of the bales would be made
for sale or winter feed for livestock.
The farming community breathed a sigh of relief
when round balers were introduced.
Although there was a rather larger financial investment
required to own a baler and equip one’s tractor
to handle the, this was offset by the huge reduction
in manual labour involved in handling them.
Hay balers which made ‘big square’ bales were next.
As you can see it is much easier to stack
square/rectangular shaped bales than
round, cylindrical bales.
All these inventions reduced manual labour,
which made it an easier task in the hot summer sun.
Finally, I’m not sure of the average age of farmers
in other parts of the world, however, on March 1, 2012,
the average age of Australian farmers was 52
or 12 years above the national average for other occupations.
Therefore all reductions in manual labour help
an ageing farming population.