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dairyfarmgal
Frequent Contributor

question about bale wrap

We are looking at buying a bedding chopper for our beef steers. The salesman says that everyone leaves the wrap on the bale as they process it. Is bale wrap biodegradable? We wouldn't want it building up in the soil. So far noone has given us a straight answer, thought maybe one of you may have some thoughts.

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6 Replies
Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: question about bale wrap

Net wrap is no biodegradable, but many people don't worry about it if they chop it up fine enough.

That said, our local vet said they used to have a cow 'plugged up' with plastic, only on extremely rare occasions, until about 5-6 years ago, about the time netwrap and plastic twine became popular.  When people used hemp or sisal twine, it was all but unheard of, now they see a 'few' cows a year. 
Now, a 'few' cows a year, isn't that many, considering there are thousands in the county, but if those couple are yours, it stinks.

 

Here is a blurb about netwrap I found here:  http://www.agriculture.com/products-classifieds/product-reviews/machinery-and-equipment/hay-and-fora...

 

It says in part (emphasis added by me)

 

Even though net wrap has a variety of advantages, it does have its downsides.

"The cost of net wrap is $1 to $1.25 per bale (depending on size) more expensive than twine. It's also more difficult to get rid of since it's not biodegradable. Net wrap has more plastic to deal with, and growers need to dispose of it properly," he says.

In addition, producers have to dismount from the tractor to take off the wrap, which takes time.

 

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: question about bale wrap

 

http://farmersforthefuture.ning.com/forum/topics/round-bales-netwrap-or-twine?id=2281606%3ATopic%3A6...

 

 

The last post in the thread sums up my personal opinions and experiences with netwrap, as told by 'Jackie':

 

I have fed both with a vermeer bale processor, and we like the twine better. If your selling hay, the netwrap is better for handling. But we have found it to be a mess around the farm when it comes to feeding and we don't like it in the bale procesor. Before my experinece with feeding netwrapped bales, I was planning on buying a baler all set up for netwrap. Where I live there isn't much difference in price between the twine and netwrap. But becuase I am still finding it around the place from the past winter, I prefer the twine for myself. It definitely is better for handling round bales if your selling hay. I recently bought my baler without netwrap set-up.

 

 

 

 

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dairyfarmgal
Frequent Contributor

Re: question about bale wrap

 I have heard of people leaving the wrap on but I think it would build up in the soil. Also, Thank you for the interesting links.

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k_CY_h_RED
Friend

Re: question about bale wrap

in my experience everyone i know that uses a bale processor leaves the net wrap on. I shreads it fine enought that i have never seen a problem building up in soil. a majority of the net wrap ends up on the hammermill of the bale processor. can be time consuming to clean. my cousin had trouble with sheep eating net wrap and getting plugged up but never heard of it in cattle.
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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: question about bale wrap

off definitly,ive had two known cow deaths caused by the stupid things eating enough it kills them. Wads up in their stomach. I dont have a clue as to why they eat it,(sort o like the rat and wire thing),but the ignorant things will sometimes and it will kill them. If i get two years or more invested in one, i hate to say they died because i was too lazy to roll up the strings!

 

from here:  http://www.ytmag.com/cgi-bin/viewit.cgi?bd=ttalk&th=1065859

 

 

I know our vet says it is rare, but gets from a couple to a few a year that ate twine or netwrap.

 

 

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k_CY_h_RED
Friend

Re: question about bale wrap

i agree with you i believe that a cow could eat enough net wrap to get plugged up. i dont think it would b a problem if running stalk bales through bale processor for the purpose of bedding beef steers. i think id take net wrap off if processing bales for feed. ive had the dumb things pull the net wrap back into the pen after i rolled it up and threw it over the fence while i was rolling out stalk bales. cant b too carefull when you are talking about the type of dollars invested these days
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