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How do you judge the quality of a round bale?

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Good bales increase the bottom line for your business. The best quality silage starts with the best bale. The process begins by using a net strong enough to hold the densest bale, but more importantly, the net must cover the bale entirely, for three very good reasons.

1 – A round bale has only two uses; dry bedding or high value cattle food, nothing more! It is obvious that dry straw is essential for good quality bedding, so full bale coverage and strength are essential for this.  Silage bales need even more care and consideration.

Better quality silage comes from eliminating the air in the bale before wrapping, then keeping it that way. Dense, often chopped, forage produces the best environment for good fermentation, but chopped bales need a strong net to maintain the bale’s integrity, as shorter crop makes a less stable bale during binding.

2 – Avoiding making a bale with ‘shoulders’ is critical in continuing the process of good silage making. If the net does not cover the bale edges, you are very quickly on the road to wasting valuable forage. If the bale does not have well shaped, almost ‘square’ edges on the bale, the film covering the bale will immediately trap air within this exposed bale edge. This is the first step to forage loss.

Next, any stalks within the exposed bale edges are at high risk from puncturing the film, allowing yet more air inside, adding to the already trapped air in the ‘shoulder’.  Fermentation is compromised, moulds begin to form, and forage quality declines, reducing the feed value of the bale, so affecting milk yield per tonne of crop fed.

3 – The problem can get worse, as exposed bale edges don’t provide a uniform profile as the film is pulled around the bale edge, during wrapping. This creates an un-even bale profile that doesn’t allow the film layers to stick flat to each other, leaving small ‘pockets’ in the undulations on the wrapped bale edges. Over time, these ‘pockets’ will collect water, which will seep between film layers, separating them and allowing air to penetrate into the bale, so further reducing the forage quality.

All of the major baler OEMs understand the importance of a well covered bale, to increase forage quality during wrapping and crop preservation.  It is this reason that all major baler OEMs recommend TamaNet+ as the netwrap able to contain the perfect bale that the baler has just made.  The familiar striped net is one of the strongest nets on the market, with the unique ability to cover a bale fully from edge to edge, providing the best start for the conservation of your valuable forage.

A good quality round bale vs a poorly wrapped round bale.

 

 

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