Every layer of film wrapped around a bale is one, and every layer of film costs money. Taking a smart approach to binding and wrapping film will deliver you some significant savings. On top of that, binding with film offers multiple advantages.
Using six layers of film as standard in order to ensure the bale is sufficiently sealed and protected is often what you see in practice. But various factors influence the maximum number of film layers the bale actually needs. The guideline is: the drier the crop, the more layers of film. If the crop is wet, it’s probably fine to use fewer layers of film for wrapping. In addition to moisture content, the intended storage period is an important factor. After all, the more layers of film, the better the oxygen barrier so oxygen takes longer to reach the forage in the bale. See the table below for our recommendations.
Good film for minimum air permeability
In all cases, high quality film is vital for good preservation of the bale. Plastic wrapping film is never 100% airtight, but good film is characterised by minimum air permeability. Using lower quality film will affect how the crop is processed in the baler-wrapper combination and the overall forage quality. In addition, cheaper film increases the risk of forage losses, as air can penetrate the bales faster so to compensate for that, you need to use more layers of film to wrap the bale.
Low costs with the same film
Binding bales with net has been standard practice for years. However, film binding has been gaining ground on using net in recent years. And with its rise in popularity, the benefits of film binding are also becoming more evident. For example, a bale bound with film is more dimensionally stable, easier to open and has more oxygen-tight coverage. In addition, the farmer only has one type of waste material that is easy to dispose of. However, all benefits come at a price. Compared with net binding, binding a bale with film is up to €1 more expensive2. However, if the same film can be used to bind and wrap – as is the case with KUHN balers with film binding – this extra cost can be reduced to €0.50. If you decide to change from the standard six layers and take the condition of the crop material and storage conditions into account more, you can apply a total of five layers. This means the cost is identical to a net tied bale plus six layers of film wrap. And with young crop material with a sufficient sugar content3, you can even get away with using a layer of film less!