In the agricultural industry, it’s quite common for farmers to store big round bales outside the field. If you’ve been in an actual farm, have you ever noticed that some are wrapped in either net or solid plastic? It’s called a hay bale wrap. You might wonder why farmers do that. This article will give you the answer to that question.
Why Round Bales?
Often, farmers bale silage or hay in large round bales instead of small square ones. The reason is that it requires less labour to bale and transport compared to small square bales. At the same time, the round shape allows them to be stored outside, something that you would never do with square bales. The reason is that rain – and even snow – run off of their curved sides much like a roof.
Different Types of Hay Bale Wrap
Farmers currently have three choices of materials to wrap their silage or hay bales: net wrap, twine, or plastic wrap. Unlike a traditional gift wrap, the choice isn’t just about the presentation. It’s also about quality, baling efficiency, and storage. If you store and bale your hay properly, it will last a long time without affecting its quality.
Twine is known as the least expensive baling material. However, some hay can be lost while it’s being baled and transported. Baling twine is also more prone to damage when stored outdoors. They do shed water as with plastic or net wrapped bales. Moisture level increases the chances of spoilage, as well as decrease the nutritional value of the hay or silage.
Net wraps are women plastic materials that are often the more preferred choice over traditional twine. It’s also the preferred product for farmers who need to store their hay outside. While net wraps are three times more expensive than twines per bales, it does offer three significant benefits that will immediately justify the cost. Net wraps reduce the potential of storage loss, harvest loss, and baling time. Net wrapping will only take a couple turns in the baler, compared to the whopping 15 to 30 for baling twine. As a result, a farmer can efficiently make thirty percent more bales per hour using the net wrap. Not only will it save time but will also reduce equipment, wear and fuel cost.
Plastic hay bale wrap is the most common in high-moisture areas. In this method, the forage crop is cut earlier, immediately baled, and wrapped in high-quality plastic wrap to ferment like silage. The finished bales will look like giant marshmallows. Learn more about it here.