Film Binding: more economical and greater preservation

Film bound bales, using 3D wrapping and Intelliwrap, are better preserved than net bound bales. This is a key finding to a study carried out in 2021 and 2022, conducted by KUHN in cooperation with Eurofins Agro in Wageningen. In addition, the binding and wrapping costs for film bound bales are lower than bales bound in net.

In June 2021, 12 hectares of grassland were cut and baled to create two groups of bales.  

  • Group 1: bales bound with 2.75 layers of net and conventionally wrapped with 6 layers of film.  
  • Group 2: bales bound with 3 layers of film and wrapped with 5 layers of film using 3D wrapping and Intelliwrap.  

Whilst baling, grass samples were taken by Eurofins Agro. After 6 weeks of storage, samples were taken from both bale types for feed content analysis and for conservation analysis. Forage samples were repeated after 8 months of storage. In addition to sampling, when the bales were opened, a visual assessment was made for mould present and the location of any mould patches in the bales. Finally, the study included a separate comparison of the binding and wrapping costs of both bale types. 

Film bound bales promote consistent forage preservation

The main result of the study concerned the large difference in the butyric acid concentration between the two bale types after 8 months of storage. At 9.2 grams per kilogram of dry matter in net bound bales, this was clearly higher than the 4.9 grams per kilogram of dry matter in the film bound bales. According to Bob Fabri, feed and preservation expert at Eurofins Agro, this means that the preservation process of the film bound bales were better than with the net bound bales. Fabri: ‘To put it simply, butyric acid bacteria will dominate if the conditions are not favourable for beneficial bacteria such as lactic acid bacteria. The higher the butyric acid concentration, the poorer the process of preservation.’ In this context, Fabri emphasises the importance of ensuring there is as little air in the bale as possible when ensiling. ‘The faster the oxygen is consumed by the aerobic bacteria, the sooner the anaerobic bacteria can start their work and the less energy and dry matter it costs. This result shows that this effect was superior in bales bound in film compared with net bound bales.’ 

Minimal mould formation

Another key finding is that bales with film binding were practically free of mould formation. After the visual assessment, this bale type scored 9.67 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being completely mould free. Net bales had a lower score of 6.95.  

The third conclusion is that the binding and wrapping costs for film bound bales are lower than for bales bound in net. Binding bales with film is more expensive than binding bales with net, however because the TWIN-reel binding system on the KUHN baler-wrapper uses standard rolls of stretch film instead of the more expensive mantle film, the additional costs are low. And, because a layer less of film is used in the wrapping process, the total savings on the wrapping costs are higher than the extra costs of film binding. 

Read more about the results: View Here 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *