In order to ensure good, high quality silage bales certain important requirements must be met:
UNIFORM AND WELL SHAPED BALES
Important to ensure correct and efficient wrapping. This is of particular importance when wrapping net wrapped bales, as poor bale coverage by the net, resulting in ‘shoulders’ on the bale, will allow air to become trapped within the area between the ’shoulders’ – leading to spoilage and crop loss.
HIGH DRY MATTER BALES
Higher Dry Matter (DM) bales ensure good crop fermentation and also help wrapped bales maintain their shape after compression, aiding bale storage.
WRAP WITHIN 2 HOURS OF BALING
Extended wilt times will encourage the formation of fungi and will also reduce the nutrients in the crop.
Always ensure correct film application, ideally a MINIMUM of 6 layers (essential on Haylage crop), with a MINIMUM 50% overlap. To guarantee correct film application and overlap, film stretch must be controlled to the correct maximum of 70%, as an increase in film stretch causes excessive film ‘neck-down’ leading to reduced film overlap. This can be avoided by always maintaining the pre-stretch rollers clean and free from tack build-up, and maintaining correct turntable speeds, particularly when wrapping in higher ambient temperatures.
SIZE AND MISSHAPEN BALES
Remember – where a bale diameter exceeds 1.2m, the wrapper cannot provide a minimum 50% overlap without increasing the number of revolutions of the bale. This will also apply when wrapping mis-shapen bales.
STORE BALES CORRECTLY
- Very often the prime cause of crop spoilage is poorly stored bales.
- Wrapped bales should be stacked on their ends, allowing the maximum layers of film to be in contact with the ground for added
protection and eliminating the possibility of bales becoming mis–shaped by further stacking on top.
- Low DM bales should never be stacked more than one layer high. This will avoid the seal on the film overlap opening through the
constant heavy pressure exerted on them from bales on top.
- Always store wrapped bales away from trees, to avoid bird damage. Never leave wrapped bales out in the field for extended periods
after wrapping, as this too could encourage bird damage.
- Always cover the completed bale stack with Novatex Silage Net, a close-weave raffia type net on a roll, with the net suspended
off the bales’ surface by old tyres (or similar) and weighted down at the floor.