General Information on
Wet or Dry Round Bales
Stretch wrapping wet bales reduces dependence on
favorable weather conditions for making quality in quantity,
plus the convenience of outdoor round bale storage.
Quality stretch wrap protects the hay from exposure
to the weather elements which rob the hay of nutrients. Stretch
wrapping is assurance of quality, safe, and economical storage.
Farm Bag Film Division, LLC promotes and utilizes
only stretch wrap film, especially formulated to resist breakdown
from exposure of Ultra-Violet radiation for up to one year, when
properly applied. Stretch film without this formulation quickly
breaks down then making it unsuitable for this innovative application.
Over the years we have understood the fermentation
process must take place in an air tight environment. Quality
stretch wrap adheres to itself as it is applied, thus making
a totally air tight seal for the fermentation process to start,
which takes 28 days to complete. After 28 days the bales can
be utilized as feed.
The general moisture range is 40% to 60% for wet
balage. Mow and wilt, then bale. Wrap within 2 to 4 hours, if
bales are not good tight bales, they may have to be wrapped immediately
after baling. The 4' x 4' bale size is the most desirable size,
due to the weight of wet bales.
The application should be of quality one mil film
with a pre stretch of 55%, 50% overlap and wrapped two to three
times around for four to six layers of film. This is the proper,
most feasible and least vulnerable way of wrapping big round
wet bales of balage. The success to stretch wrapping wet bales
is the quality of the stretch wrap and proper application. Always
use untreated twine when utilizing stretch wrap film. White film
is recommended for wet bales in regions with extensive sunlight.
Black can be used in the late fall. Use agricultural film repair
tape for accidental tears that may occur.
To summarize, the
following list of Do's & Don'ts maybe useful when doing Wet
1. Always use Farm Bag Film Division, LLC quality film
to insure a totally hermetic seal.
2. Utilize a precision pretensioner (55-59% stretch)
3. Use untreated plastic, nylon twine or net wrap when
utilizing polyethylene stretch wrap.
4. Cut forage at correct maturity.
5. Bale at correct moisture. (40-60% range)
6. Be sure to use a baler that will make a tight dense
7. There should never be foreign matter picked up in the
bale, such as dirt or manure, when the fields have had manure
spread on them.
8. Remember drought stricken or very wet conditions can
make less than quality balage due to variation in sugar content.
9. Proper wrapping, never over or under stretch film or
skimp with not enough layers (proper is 55-59% stretch with 4-6
10. Be sure to follow wrapping machine manufactures guidelines
on the pretensioner, also clean the pretensioner regularly.
11. Bales must be wrapped soon after baling to insure quality.
(Preferably within 4 hours after baling) Never let bales sit,
they will heat up damaging the quality.
12. Move bales to storage area prior to wrapping, when
13. Bales should not be speared after wrapping, a Silagrip
14. Avoid any type of damage to wrapped bales the entire
length of storage.
15. Check wrapped bales periodically, patch any holes with
our agricultural repair tape
16. Most desirable bale size is a 4' x 4'
17. Don't stack bales, it causes to much pressure on bottom
bales and could cause seal on bottom bales to come open.
18. Always allow 28 days for the fermentation process to
Black stretch wrap is recommended for outer perimeter
wrapping of big round bales whether it is done with a dry bale
wrapper or used in the balers that apply stretch wrap film. You're
the expert on whether Black or White works the best in your region.
The application will vary, depending on the width size of the
dry wrapper or baler used and if our 90 gauge, 1 mil or 2 mil
film is utilized.
Just call 1-800-FARM-BAG for the quality in the
size and mil of your choice.
Our information comes from personal experience,
trial and error and experience of other ranchers & farmers
throughout the USA, and is as always free of charge. If you have
any other questions that the above information does not clarify,
please do not hesitate to call 1-800-FARM-BAG (1-800-327-6224)