How Plastic Wrap for Dry Hay Bales Sustains Quality
Updated: Jan 20
Farms are constantly trying to optimize their day-to-day operations, and any method that can improve their efficiency is almost always adopted. One of the simplest ways to improve a farm’s operation is by wrapping their yay hales.
Why Wrap Hay Bales
Wrapping dry hay bales with plastic wrap can sustain their quality for a longer period. Weather conditions can be unpredictable in certain parts of the world but just the application of a few layers of plastic can dramatically improve the storage time and increase the protection from inclement weather for dry hay. Additionally, the protection shields the dry hay from harsh weather conditions like rain and morning dew that can settle into the hay and cause the dry hay to rot from the inside out. The plastic wrap also prevents the hay from absorbing moisture from the ground. This all-around protection from moisture prevents the dry hay from spoiling and saves the farm significant operational costs due to hay spoilage. Using plastic wrap is also more cost-effective than building a dedicated storage facility to protect the dry hay from the weather, thus saving both land and the cost of building a dedicated structure for storage.
How to Wrap Hay Bales
The point of wrapping hay bales is to ensure their freshness over a longer period. Keeping air out of the wrapped hay bales prevents oxygen from entering the bale. This is important because the microorganisms in the dry hay bale only become active when they’re in the presence of air and water. Once active, the microorganisms will start consuming the nutrients in the hay. When they consume the nutrients, they create water vapor and heat, which on top of consuming the nutrients in the hay, the increased heat also causes damage to the hay. Therefore it’s important to lock out any chance of air and water leaking into your hay bales to force the microorganisms to become inactive. This also preserves the nutrients of the hay for your livestock instead.
How many layers of the plastic wrap should you use to prevent any air and moisture from entering your hay bale? That depends on your storage conditions, the type of hay, and the length of storage. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to use six layers of plastic wrap. This will change depending on weather conditions, and more layers might be needed. Hay bales should be wrapped as soon as they are cultivated to minimize the chances of spoilage.
Tips on Wrapping Hay Bales
Due to cost considerations, you might be tempted to reduce the layers of plastic wrap to cover each hay bale since the goal of wrapping hay is to keep air and water out. Yes, but if the number of layers used is too thin, drier hay might penetrate the thin layer of plastic and cause spoilage in the long run.
Depending on the dryness of your hay, the drier it is, the more layers of plastic wrap you will need. That’s because drier hay tends to have sharper stems that poke through if there aren’t enough layers of plastic. Normally, the outer layer of plastic-wrapped hay bales will suffer from spoilage. This is because the plastic wrap creates areas where moisture trapped inside the hay bales will collect and provide the necessary elements for microorganisms to activate and cause spoilage.
Why the Color Matters when Wrapping Hay Bales
When it comes to silage film color, it’s important to choose colors that don’t absorb the sun’s heat. Black color tends to be a good absorber and radiator of heat, while white is not only reflective, it is both a bad absorber and radiator of heat. Therefore white is the ideal color for silage film.
MMP Corporation's Award-Winning Silage Film
Our silage film is made to the highest industry standards and has been awarded the prestigious German DLG quality mark. This is only awarded to agricultural equipment that has passed comprehensive and extensive usability testing by DLG.
Our film is available in both opaque white and green and exhibits excellent UV resistance. It is made from linear low-density polyethylene, the film is both puncture and tear-resistant. At a thickness of 25 microns, each roll has 1,500m of plastic wrap and weighs 26.86 kilograms.
MMP Corporation’s Silage film surpasses industry standards and comes with the German DLG seal of approval. Contact us for more information on how our silage film can optimize and improve your farm’s operation.