After the harvest of hay, quick action must be taken in order to dictate what it will become. If you are intending to make the harvested hay into silage then you will need to stop it from fermenting. That’s why it needs to be tightly wrapped in plastic by a bale wrapper.

What is a bale wrapper?

A bale wrapper is a large piece of farming machinery that is used to wrap bales of hay or silage for livestock feed. Once silage or hay is ready it is bailed it is wrapped to keep oxygen from allowing aerobic bacteria from dominating the micro biom, this will keep the silage and hay from turning and spoiling. The bale is then lifted into a bale wrapper by a piece of silage handling equipment like the Round Bale Grab (SH-90BG) or the Square & Round Bale Grab (TC D80). These handlers are preferred to their spiked counterparts as none of the hay is destroyed or torn and there are fewer air holes to encourage oxygen release. These are then wrapped in lines so that the minimum amount of film is used. The better the wrap, the longer it will last.

Why should you use a bale wrapper?

When hay is harvested, it is harvested in the mid to late reproductive process. Hay must be baled with a low moisture content or else it risks spontaneously combusting. Furthermore, nutrients from the hay will quickly deplete and the must be baled to protect from this.

In regards to silage requiring baling, when oxygen gets into silage it spoils and makes its lifetime a lot shorter. Silage is wrapped with a higher moisture content than hay as this helps preserve it. When silage is exposed to oxygen the natural sugars in the hay are consumed and cattle will not eat it. The added oxygen also puts it at risk of combustion. Instead we want to preserve the silage by removing the aerobic bacterias oxygen supply. Anaerobic fungi flourish in this environment and convert sugars into lactose, preserving the nutrients.

Another reason for the use of a bale wrapper is that it covers the silage from the elements. With the plastic encapsulating the rolled hay, you do not have to worry about rain speeding up fermentation or direct sunlight. This takes the stress out of moving the product for storage.

What products are available

There are a multitude of options when it comes to choosing a bale wrapper, at Farmtech we recommend the Tubeline collection. Tubeline have been making bail wrappers for over 25 years and have led major innovations in the making of bale wrapping machines. Their latest TL range offers the protection of four regular wrappers in one wrap thanks to the satellite arm design. This two-ply application of the two wrap appliers decreases the chance of sharp objects sticking through the wrap and allowing oxygen in. The TL range is also designed to be easy to use, with a 3 step dispatch system that makes removing bales without equipment that could potentially damage it. They also come with a pivoted door and a heavy amount of shielding. This is to reduce the chance of labourers getting injured, with the pivoted door making it easy to access the wrapping area of the machine.

Optional extras

There are also extras that can be added to the TL50, TL60 and TL70, which can improve a machine to suit a farmer’s requirements. These optional extras include magnetic film sensors that stop the bale wrapper as soon as it runs out of wrap or reaches the end of a bale. There’s two options in the operating systems available, the ESV system or the LSV system. The ESV comes with a digital control panel and a joystick for steering while the LSV comes with a hydraulic and electric switches system. Another feature that allows for automation is the guided laser steering which allows for equal spacing between each hay bale when it drives itself into a new position. There is also additions that improve the machine if it will be moved around a lot on the farm. The optional power drive adds extra power to the bale wrapper so it can move easier under heavier bails. While the addition of a Road Flex suspension system would mean towing is made easier over rough terrain and carrying bails is made easier.

If you are interested in getting a Tubeline TL series bail wrapper, contact FarmTech today. Our team are experts on bale wrappers and are happy to help you get the correct model for your farm. Our team can be called on (02) 8776 3124 or you can reach them on email at sales@farmtech.com.au.