Silage Plastic: Advantages for Hay Baling

Plastic silage wrap is popular among farmers because it is cost-effective and durable. It can also help reduce hay loss from spoilage.

Bales are most suited to be wrapped when they have high moisture levels for proper fermentation and less nutrient loss. Without wrapping, these bales may suffer from heating and mould, resulting in significant losses. It’s just one of the many silage plastic benefits.

Durability

Silage plastic for hay baling can be used to prevent spoilage and improve the quality of your feed. It is available in a variety of colours and thicknesses, but it is important to choose a material that is both durable and puncture-resistant. A thicker wrap is also better for preventing oxygen penetration. Bales should be wrapped as soon as possible after baling to start the fermentation process. The longer a bale is left unwrapped, the more oxygen it will encounter, resulting in poor-quality feed.

silage plasticBales should be placed in a well-ventilated area with good aeration to avoid oxygen penetration. It is particularly important for round bales, which can be difficult to seal tightly. Choosing the right moisture level will also help to maintain good silage quality. A high moisture content will reduce heating and spontaneous combustion, while a low moisture content will increase fermentation rates and shorten the storage period.

It is important to harvest high-quality hay forage that is ripe and has enough sugars for proper fermentation. Poor-quality forage that is cut too early or at the wrong stage of maturity will have insufficient sugars to start fermentation and can lead to a lower pH. It will result in less-than-favourable rumen fermentation and lower protein levels, which will ultimately affect livestock performance. In addition, oxygen permeation through the wrapping can damage proteins, resulting in heat and butyric acid, which can cause a decrease in protein availability to livestock.

Recyclability

During harvest and storage, farmers can easily use plastic bale wrap to protect their forage from weather damage. It helps to reduce the loss of hay due to spoilage, and it can also help to increase the nutritional value of the forage. It is especially important for farmers who have a limited amount of storage space, as it allows them to keep more forage on-site without having to transport it to a silo or feedlot.

Depending on the type of plastic used, one of the silage plastic benefits is it can be recycled at a local recycling plant or a collection scheme. Once the bale wrap is separated from the net wrap, it can be placed in a bin and collected by farmers for free or paid for on-farm pick up (depending on the collector). The plastic then goes through a cleaning and melting process, which turns it into pellets that can be reused for other purposes.

Economical

Using silage plastic for hay baling can help reduce waste by preserving the quality of a crop and protecting it from environmental damage. It can also save a farmer money by eliminating the need to build a storage facility. It also helps improve the feed efficiency and nutrition content of the harvested hay or straw.

Bales wrapped with silage plastic are easier to handle and can be transported and stored without damage. It’s important to store wrapped bales in a safe place away from fence lines, crop stubble, and other obstructions. Bales should also be kept on a gravel base to prevent ground moisture and vermin from penetrating the plastic. Heavier bales are more prone to holes in the plastic while wrapping, stacking, and in storage. Use a bale grabber to handle them instead of spears to reduce the chances of tearing and puncturing the plastic.

Bunker, trench, and drive-over-pile silos can hold chopped forage with less cost than a permanent storage structure, but they may still have higher losses due to moisture and spoilage. Dry matter losses can be reduced by chopping finely, packing well, harvesting at optimal plant moisture, and making deep piles.

Round bale silage requires less space for storage and handling compared to silage made in bunkers or trenches, but they are more vulnerable to damage from the weather. It can include rain, wind, hail, or snow that can break the plastic, allowing for air to leak into the hay. Weekly inspection of the plastic and patching of holes is essential to prevent the loss of valuable forage.

Environmentally friendly

Silage plastic helps to preserve crops for use in feeding livestock. It prevents rot and mould growth while preserving the nutrients in the forage. It also protects the crop from the elements, such as wind and rain. It is a cost-effective way to produce quality hay for feed. It is easy to use and reduces hay waste. However, it requires regular monitoring to check for holes and damages.

Another environmental silage plastic benefits is that it can reduce nutrient loss and reduce spoilage. It also makes it easier to store and handle hay and silage bales. It is also safer to move wrapped bales because it prevents the bursting caused by fermentation gases. Moreover, it can be stored in areas where the temperature is stable.

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