Factors and recommendations about storing large round net bale wraps

Feed stuff losses when stored in large round bales are lower than when stored in small round or square bales. And the wrapping with high-quality Polypak net blale wrap allows you to simply store feed stuff in the field, because the material is protected from UV rays. But still, numerous studies and practice have proven that placing bales of feed stuff under a cover leads to a much higher quality of feed stuff and, accordingly, is economically profitable.

Storage under a cover, or better in a shed, reduces dry matter losses that occur due to rot in the outer layer of hay. One study found that hay stored in the field without a net was lost between 30 and 65 %.And the loss of hay when stored in a shed is up to 5 %. Also, feed stuff that was stored with shelter had better digestibility (54 % versus 45 % when stored simply in the field) and higher palatability for animals.

It is obvious that storing feed stuff with a shelter is cost-effective. But there are other cheaper alternatives – storage under a tarp or under cover. We wrote about this in another article.

Storing bales in the field

There are several factors that influence hay loss when baled in the field:

  • Bale tightness. Generally, feed stuff harvested with an adjustable chamber bale net wraps produces denser bale net wraps than with fixed chamber equipment.
  • Type of hay. Grass hay usually stores better than leaf hay.
  • Bale size. The larger the bale, the less loss. We wrote about this in this article.
  • Duration of storage.
  • Weather during storage period.

Any factors that you can control directly affect the quality and quantity of hay, as well as its digestibility by animals.


Recommendations for storing hay in the field 

If for some reason you cannot cover or make a shed, or use other options for covered storage of feed in a hay net, follow these recommendations when storing bales in the field:

  • Start using first those feed stuff that you have in the field, and not under cover. This way you will reduce the storage time under the influence of weather conditions.
  • Without shelter, it is better to store the feed stuff that was last packed. This will also reduce the shelf life of the feed from cutting to feeding.
  • Place bale net wraps in a high, well-drained area. This will prevent the feed stuff from rotting, which is likely in standing water. To do this, you can also place the bale net wraps on some supports or pallets. However, check whether this will interfere with your future movement of them to the place of feeding, that is, to the farm.
  • It is advisable that the storage location be sunny. Then, after rains, wet bales will dry out faster.
  • It is better to arrange the bales in rows so that their flat edges touch each other. This will reduce the impact of rain and sun on areas not protected by the stretch film. Rounded edges, on the other hand, should be spaced apart (2-3 feet) to allow sun and air to dry the wet hay. 
  • The orientation of the bale rows should be north/south so that the sun can better illuminate the bales from all directions during the daytime.
  • For better drainage, if you don’t have a dedicated drain pan, place the rows down the slope. This way you will ensure natural rapid drainage of water after rains.


Tips for building a bale shed 

If you are planning to build a special shed for storing bales tied with hay netting, consider the following factors:

  • Make sure the hay is sufficiently dry before storing. If it is wet, then it is better to store it in a field or under a tarp.
  • To reduce the penetration of sunlight into the shed, orient it from east to west.
  • When designing and constructing, ensure that the roof height will be sufficient. Usually stored in 2-3 rows. Don’t forget to leave room at the top so that you can comfortably place the top row.
  • If you store bales on the flat side, the storage capacity of the shed will be approximately 10-15% higher.
  • Provide sufficient ventilation to keep humidity around 15-16%. Without good ventilation, condensation can form on a metal roof, which can ruin the hay and damage the barn.

You need to pack the feed stuff before storing it in the barn. Use Polypak stretch film – a reliable product with more than 20 years of use in different parts of the world! Our technologists are constantly improving the formula of the Polypak bale net wrap it reliable and protects the feed stuff for a long time. Contact our sales team if you would like to find out more, order a trial roll or order your first batch of bale nets directly from the manufacturer.