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Step-by-step guide on properly applying bale netwrap

How To Apply Bale Netwrap

Baling hay or straw crops with round bale netwrap has many advantages. Solid cylinder-shaped bales evenly and tightly covered with a net mesh will have a uniform density. This will result in hay and straw bales holding their shape better, consequently reducing storage space and ensuring better crop protection.

It therefore makes sense to get your technique right. That is if you use the correct bale net product.

This guide gives the key steps to expertly wrap round hay and straw bales using a round baler.

Step 1: Inspect your round baler

Prepping the baler properly is critical for smooth bale wrap operation. Clean away any crop buildup and check the knife and tension system, adjust rollers equally for uniform feeding and check tension per the baler manual’s instructions. Check for any rough metal edges that might damage the netwrap. Also, ensure you buy the correct width of netwrap to fit your baler.

Step 2: Load the netwrap for hay and straw

First, make sure your netwrap is placed correctly inside the netbox of the baler. This will ensure proper feeding of the bale wrap. The core of the netwrap must be dry and undamaged, the rollers must be tightly held together and the netwrap brake tension correctly set. Check for any obstructions in the net box or path of net feeding.

Step 3: Set the tension of the bale wrap

Balers create tension while feeding the netwrap to ensure a strong grip on the bale and an edge-to-edge spread of the netwrap. Correct tension will ensure a clean cut of the netwrap resulting in compact bales that hold together.

Step 4: Initiate round bale netwrapping

The moment the bale finishes forming in the chamber, the bale wrap action starts automatically to apply the netwrap to the bale. Monitor the first full rotation to ensure edge-to-edge coverage before the netwrap layers start to build. Adhere to the recommended minimum layers of netwrap for different bale sizes, crop types, storage and handling conditions.

Step 5: Check bale wrap integrity

Check the first few bales for correct tension in the netwrap. You should see consistent overlap without cobwebby spots but you might see netsplitting or burst bales. Netsplitting is when the netwrap unravels or ‘ladder’ like a knitted jumper. Loose threads usually cause this. Check the baler’s knife and tension settings.

Burst bales could be caused by rusted inside walls, accumulation of wet crop on the rollers or not disengaging the   when ejecting the bales.

More tips on properly applying bale netwrap
  • The bale shape must be uniform and cylindrical (not cone-shaped) to avoid uneven pressure on the netwrap and ensure tight stacking.
  • Netwrap should only be applied on the outside of the bale. Check no netwrap feeds in while the crop is being picked up.
  • If you’re unsure how to apply bale netwrap to maximise productivity, consider using Tama’s netwrap knowledge guide or use TamaAssist for assistance and training.
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