Hay production for feeding livestock predominantly uses large round bales as their packaging. The benefits of this format include reduced labor requirements for baling and intra-farm transport. Yet, the storage losses of round bales often surpass those of smaller rectangular bales. The key factor contributing to the increased storage loss of round bales is their outdoor storage without weather protection.
The outdoor storage of twine-tied round bales leads to losses due to weathering and moisture absorption from the ground. Weathering manifests as a color change and deterioration of the outer layers of hay following exposure to environmental elements like rainfall and sunlight. This weathered hay experiences significant reductions in yield and forage quality, reducing its appeal to livestock.
Heating after Baling
All hay baled at moisture contents above 15 percent experiences a temperature increase during the first two to three weeks following baling. This heating process, often referred to as "sweating" or "going through a sweat," results from plant respiration and microbial activity. Even relatively dry hay (15 to 20 percent moisture content) can heat enough to cause dry matter losses of 4 to 5 percent. Slight heating (up to 130°F) doesn't significantly harm hay quality; instead, it dries the hay by evaporating some of its moisture content. Under typical conditions, hay will reach an equilibrium moisture content near 15 percent.
When the moisture content in hay exceeds 15 percent at baling, the hay color and microbial growth and heating undergo changes. The green color of moist baled hay transitions to various shades of brown, based on the extent of heating.
Hay Storage Solution
To mitigate the issue of hay storage losses and preserve hay quality, a solution has emerged.
The storage of large round bales is an integral part of hay production. Minimizing storage losses is vital for maintaining hay quality and optimizing livestock nutrition. As the agricultural industry continues to adopt innovative technologies and solutions, more efficient and sustainable livestock feeding practices are within reach. By embracing such innovative products, farmers can maximize their hay production and contribute significantly to the overall success of the livestock sector.
XES Bale Net Wrap
XES Bale Net Wrap is designed to protect large round bales during storage and transportation. Unlike traditional twine-tied round bales or other types of net wraps, the XES Bale Wrap Net provides several unique benefits. It offers superior protection against weathering, moisture, and sunlight exposure. It also allows better airflow around the bale surface, reducing the risk of mold and fungal growth during storage. Despite these advanced features, the XES Bale Wrap Net is a cost-effective solution. It's easy to use during baling, eliminating the need for additional twine or complicated machinery. By using this product, farmers can reduce storage losses, improve forage quality, and achieve long-term savings."