Replacing damaged ties on cotton bales on-site is now made simpler with a device invented by an Agricultural Research Service scientist in Stoneville, Miss.

Bale-restraining ties fail when they are defective, improperly connected or when bales are compressed to the wrong density. Also, the straps or wire ties fail when cotton is distributed unevenly in the bales or has low moisture content. Improper storage and handling can cause tie failure, too. Bales damaged by a lack of ties are rejected by mill customers because they are more susceptible to contamination and less conforming to a mill's processing machinery.

The new device's inventor, W. Stanley Anthony, is the research leader at the ARS Cotton Ginning Research Unit in Stoneville.

According to Anthony, an agricultural engineer, the patented device replaces multiple failed bale ties by recompressing damaged bales only in the specific area of the bale where one or more ties need to be replaced. There is no need to move the bale to replace more than one tie because components of the device move internally.