For over 20 years, mushroom farms across the country as well as in Canada have been utilizing Creech’s baled used horse bedding to make the best compost for their operations.   The used horse bedding is a combination of approximately 99% damp straw and 1% horse manure.  It is baled at Creech Services’ plant in Lexington, Kentucky into bales approximately 4’x4’x5’ which each weigh approximately one ton.  Thus, a flat bed trailer can then be loaded to maximum legal weight with approximately 170 cubic yards of baled material.

Advantages of Creech Material

  • Wheat Straw
    Unlike racetrack material which can contain up to 50% rye straw, Creech Services takes the majority of material direct from farms.  This means it contains mainly wheat straw, which our mushroom farm customers prefer. 
  • Less Trash
    Racetrack bedding generally contains more strings and trash than horse farm material.  Creech instructs its horse farms to place trash cans in each barn and to make sure employees use them and keep the bedding nearly free from trash and other debris.  Furthermore, by running the material through our baling process, we can have an additional chance to remove strings and trash that would otherwise have been delivered to your facility.  As the material is loaded into our fluffing feeder box, the rotating fluffing bars in the box collect 99% of any missed strings that are in the original muck, saving you significant time and effort as your employees will not have to cut strings out of your equipment.   From the feeder box, the material then falls onto a slow moving conveyor, which allows us another opportunity to again grab foreign material before it goes into the bale chamber.
  • Reduced Moisture for Cheaper Shipping
    The receiving area at our baling plant is under roof, which reduces the amount of moisture in the finished product and makes shipping more economical.  Most muck is stored outdoors which inevitably increases the moisture content as it is rained on, but we receive a significant portion of the muck delivered to our baling plant directly from barns, which makes it significantly dryer than the average racetrack load.  In our feeding process, we use a loader to dump one bucket of dry material and one bucket of wetter material into our feeder box.  The box then equally blends the two to make the moisture content much more consistent than if the loose material were directly loaded into a truck.  While rain does have some effect on our bales, we have invested as much as possible to minimize this effect and keep your supply as dry and consistent as possible.
  • Maximum Weight Every Time
    Once the material reaches the top of the conveyor, it drops into the bale chamber which then makes three equal compressions, until the chamber is full and the bale is completed.  The bale is then ejected from the chamber as the wire ties are put on.  The ejected bale is retrieved with a forklift and weighed individually with the average bale weight being approximately one ton.  As the bales are loaded on a flatbed trailer, the bale weighing process allows each truck leaving our facility to safely reach a maximum legal weight near 80,000 pounds, making shipping as economical as possible and saving our customers shipping costs.  Obviously, the lighter the incoming trucks that the customer sends, the more net weight we will be able to achieve.  To aid in the shipping process, we can preload trailers for after hours pickup, or we can live load trailers for immediate shipment as trucks arrive, depending on what is most convenient for our customer.
  • Predictable Amount Needed
    Once a farm determines the number of bales needed for the volume of production for its rick, we know from experience that this will remain the same without a long or a short at the end of the composting process.
  • Faster Production
    In Creech’s baling process, the straws are crushed, making for quicker moisture absorbance, and the crushing is uniform.  Later in the growing process this aids the spawn in receiving nutrients and moisture.  Dry weight targets are easier to achieve, and “fluffy” trays after the press are eliminated.  Although not proven, our customers report that spawn runs seem faster and temperature push is less in summer months. Also, the temperature in each bale is approximately 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit at receipt, which means the material is ready to go, helping our customers especially in the winter months when they are fighting cold temperatures.  Also, it makes it generally pathogen free.  History has shown a lower level of weed molds, thus fewer hot spots were in the spawn run.  The consistent nature of the straw also helps.
  • Fewer Prewet Turns
    Because of the crushed straws, the bedding needs less prewet turns.  If straw is used, the straw may require prewetting before it is added to the bedding.  Thus, there is less water runoff in ponds.  If bedding is used 100%, at least 5 days can be saved on the prewet process.
  • Lower Ash Content
    The vast majority of farm material is generated in blacktop floor stalls and then stored in concrete bunkers and then picked up from the farms and moved to Creech Services’ paved facility.  Therefore, our material does not contain the same sand, clay and gravel that generally comes from racetracks, resulting in a lower ash content.

Proper Handling of the Bale Wire Ties
Push bales from flatbed truck using tractor or payloader with bucket.  Start at rear of truck and work forward.  Push bales away and toward the rear of the truck.  This will prevent bales from bouncing back toward the cab area of the truck when they hit the ground.

Using loader or forklift, place bales on their edge side.  Normally, each bale has 6 wires.  Then using small bolt cutters, clip the wires on the side of the bale.  Safety glasses should be worn in case of the recoil of the wires at the time of cutting.  Grasp the wires on the side of the bales and pull the wires away from the bale.  Do this to at least three bales; then place the wires in a dumpster that opens at one end.  If you place the semi-coil in the dumpster and don’t throw it, the dumpster will be able to hold many loads of wire.  The dumpster should be about 20 feet long.  Compact wires into dumpster with loader bucket when full.  Make a small set stool from wood to allow workers access to dumpster when it is near full.

The weight in the dumpster will vary, but generally you can easily offset the cost of the dumpster with the value of the metal wire because customers are usually able to get paid a premium for the steel.