Stretch wrap silage bales are a kind of harvested forage preserved using the method of anaerobic fermentation of starch and sugar in the forage-producing acids. Its primary function is to lower the pH levels of feeds, thereby efficiently preserving it for long-term use.
Enabling a successful acidic fermentation entails that the forage must contain sufficient bacteria plus the high content of sugar. Fermenting into acid implies that the bacteria need to feed on high amounts of sugar, after which it needs to be baled using a dense bale for successfully removing the oxygen content from within the bundle. It is then sealed off from the oxygen with the use of the right plastic wrap after baling, the idea of which is to create anaerobic fermentation.
Arguably, the best practice or strategy in the production of high-quality stretch wrap silage bales includes the following steps:
- First, there needs to be a harvest of good-quality, early-mature forage. The idea is to get something with considerably high sugar content intended for active
- Forage needs to be mowed later in the morning or early in the afternoon, the purpose of which is to make sure and guarantee the dew has already dried. It needs to be transformed into a full swath to be exposed to the sun while wilting.
- Wilting is required to produce about 50% moisture so to get the best fermentation possible. Remember not to ted hay because doing so and leaving tedding leaves stems as well as parallel stems could result in denser bales.
- If there’s a resulting tight, dense bale, you need to bale it to reduce air or oxygen content inside that same bale. The bundles must then be covered in plastic silage wraps in two hours to minimise heat damage and get rid of the remaining oxygen. It is doubly important to wrap bales with at least a thickness of 6-mil while using around 50% stretch wrap and 50% overlap.
- The successfully produced bales need storage in a clean and level area. Ensure there are no sharp and hard objects like stones in the area. Don’t forget to stack bales to effectively reduce exposure to sunlight and in the process save plastic. It also successfully reduces sweating.
- Remember to inspect stored bales on a weekly basis. In case you find holes and tears, they all need repairs right away. If you fail to fix them, it will result in spoilage and secondary fermentation – two things you certainly don’t want to happen.
Keep in mind that when bales are fermented poorly, there’s a chance it overheats. When it does, a formation of neutral detergent insoluble crude protein takes place. The said formation is likely to increase if forage has low moisture, but will decrease in mature feeds.