- Author: Robert J Keiffer
As part of the annual sheep shearing process the wool fleeces must be sacked into very strong nylon bags in order to handle and sell the product. The current standard in the industry is to bag the wool into rectangular shaped bags (called bales) that weigh up to 400 lbs each. In order to meet the demands of this marketing method the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center owns its own "wool press".
Here you see Principal Agricultural Technician Steven Poor placing one of many layers of wool into the press for compacting. The method is quite like that of a home-style garbage compactor ... only on a big scale. Once packed to the top of the bag then there is a series of metal clips which must be installed in order to hold the "bale" together.