Stakeholders in farming understand how valuable silage wrap is in a farm setting.
Hay growers in Australia have a new tool at their disposal to help them manage hay quality and maximize their yields. That tool is a thick plastic wrap that goes around bales of silage wrapped hay, helping the farmer conserve moisture in the hay and allowing him to test for compaction in the barn before baling.
The new hay production tool has been imported from New Zealand where it has been in use for 25 years. It is a thick wrap around a bale of hay and is sealed with a hot knife. The plastic helps conserve moisture in the hay and allows farmers to monitor how much weight their bales have before being wrapped. This, in turn, will help them monitor the weight of hay they are producing.
The plastic sheeting used to wrap silage hay bales measures 20 metres wide and has a thickness of 200 microns across its width. It can be applied at different times during the process depending on factors such as weather conditions.
“You will get more hay if you can wrap it when the moisture content is less,” said Bruce Smith of Colorado-based Kord Corporation, which imports and distributes the silage plastic sheeting.
“If you wrap at 18 percent, you’ll get more weight than if you wrapped at 24 percent,” he added. “It all depends on what your goal is. If you’re only able to bale when the hay is dry, then, by all means, wait until it’s dried out.”
Smith said that Australian farm owners would take advantage of this silage wrap for sale for their first or second cutting, which should happen around early or mid-November. Unfortunately, growers in Western Australia won’t use this product as the climate is too hot to produce a bale that will last for four or five months.
Bruce Smith said the product had been used by many big growers in New Zealand and Australia, but it was not until recently that small-scale hay producers have also started using it.
Smith believes the silage wrap for sale will help Australian hay growers increase their hay yield by 10 percent in the coming years.
“Australia has not been using this product, so they’re missing out on a lot of hay,” said Smith. “Each bale weighs an average of 200 kilograms, and when wrapped with the plastic sheeting, it will lose five to 10 percent moisture content.”
He added that the product is gaining popularity among hay growers in Australia and New Zealand.
“Farmers around the world love this product because it gives them better weight on their bales,” said Smith. “When you get that moisture content at 20 percent or less, then it takes away a lot of variables such as weather conditions like wind and rain.”
Smith also mentioned that the usage of plastic sheeting would allow growers to produce better quality hay.
“It ensures that you’re harvesting at its peak,” he said.
According to Smith, farmers can expect a yield of four or five bales per hectare with this new product. He added that the process only takes about 20 minutes.
“It’s just like wrapping meat or fish,” he said. “Wrapping hay is a very simple process.”
The plastic sheeting used to wrap silage hay bales measures 20 metres wide and has a thickness of 200 microns across its width. It can be applied at different times during the process depending on factors such as weather conditions. You will get more hay if you can wrap it when the moisture content is less.