neither too large (promoting conditions that might create spontaneous combustion), nor too small, so much of the pile is susceptible to rotting. These haystacks lifted most of the plant fibers up off the ground, letting air in and water drain out, so the grasses could dry and cure, to retain nutrition for livestock feed at a later time. In the 1860s mechanical cutting devices were developed; from these came the modern devices including mechanical mowers and balers. In 1872 a reaper that used a knotter device to bundle and bind hay was invented by Charles Withington; this was commercialized in 1874 by Cyrus McCormick.
In 1936, Innes invented an automatic baler that tied bales with twine using Appleby-type knotters from a John Deere grain binder; an improved version patented by Ed Nolt in 1939 was more reliable and became commonly used.