FAQ Agriculture
Netwrap Questions
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In recent years netwrap has proven the preferred method of baling when using round balers. It offers many advantages over baler twine which lessen the impact of higher purchase costs over the earlier method.

The main points include:

  • LESS WEAR AND TEAR ON THE BALER
    Fewer revolutions of the bale are needed when net wrapping, dramatically reducing wear and tear on the baler.
  • GREATER SPEED OF OPERATION
    Reduced bale wrapping times improve output from the baler producing, on average, 15-20 more bales per hour than the twine method.
  • BETTER COVERAGE ON THE BALE
    Net wrapped bales maintain a more uniform shape, making transporting and handling easier, particularly important when wrapping silage bales on an automatic bale wrapper. Bale coverage from edge to edge is also essential when silage wrapping, eliminating air from the bale to ensure better quality forage.
  • BETTER WEATHERING CAPABILITY
    Net wrapped bales offer much a better weathering capability, allowing easier storage and reducing loss from crop wastage.
  • EASIER TO REMOVE
    Opening a net wrapped bale is a simple and straight-forward operation. The use of net eliminates the difficult and tiresome task of removing baler twine, especially in frosty conditions, and is also less likely to be picked up by livestock or machinery.

Every roll of  Tama Round Bale Netting offers all the required essentials for successful and trouble-free baling.

The main points include:

  • CORRECT LENGTH
    All nets offered by Tama are manufactured to contain a guaranteed MINIMUM length. Whilst many other suppliers claim to have the correct length, in practice they are often found to be under their stated length. Tests have proven that many manufacturers do not guarantee the length of their net, which, at times, has been found to be up to 20% short, drastically increasing your cost per bale, even though you may have paid a considerably cheaper price for the net.
    BE SURE TO CHECK THE MINIMUM GUARANTEED LENGTH!
  • CORRECT WIDTH
    Rolls must be manufactured to 1.22m – 1.23m width to offer their best possible bale coverage. Either through inconsistent method of construction, or the net being produced a few centimeters too narrow, many makes of net cannot achieve this, resulting in less than adequate bale coverage, which can leave the bale with ‘shoulders’. Good bale coverage is critical on silage bales where air can become trapped in this area when wrapping, whilst dry crops are offered far better weather protection, easier storage and handling resulting in less crop loss.
    BE SURE TO CHECK THE MINIMUM GUARANTEED WIDTH!
  • TIGHTLY WOUND ROLLS
    A roll of net must have an outside diameter no greater than 30 centimeters to ensure correct fitting in all balers. Some makes of net are not wound sufficiently tightly to allow 3,000m on a 30 cm diameter roll, resulting in short length rolls and, consequently, less bales per roll.
    BE SURE TO CHECK THE GUARANTEED ROLL DIAMETER!
  • EVENLY WOUND ROLLS
    All rolls on netwrap must have absolutely straight and perfectly aligned ends, with the centre core clearly protruding at each end, to enable correct and efficient operation. If such badly wound rolls are used in balers where the net is free rolling inside the roll container, the ends of the roll can become damaged and eventually break the edge threads, resulting in badly wrapped and broken bales.
    BE SURE TO CHECK EVENLY WOUND ROLLS!
  • CORRECT STRENGTH
    All nets supplied by Tama are fully guaranteed in all of the above aspects and we guarantee every roll to perform correctly throughout every metre. Are you sure you are receiving the same guarantee from other suppliers?
    IF NOT….WHY NOT?

Every roll of Tama Round Bale Netting guarantees all the required essentials for successful and trouble-free baling.

How much are you losing… and what is it costing you?

Many Contractors will spend more on Netwrap, over the lifetime of the baler, than on the actual cost of the baler itself.
Why, then, do so few take the time to check?
What is the true cost of a roll of netwrap?

TO MANY, one roll of net is much like another, a commodity product, purchased on price alone.
For them NETWRAP is NETWRAP is NETWRAP.

Not so…

Shorter length rolls or netwrap that is not strong enough can add an extra, un-planned cost to your business. If your chosen roll of netwrap does not deliver the expected number of bales, then more rolls will be needed to compete the baling. Likewise, if you need to add an extra half wrap of net to a bale to hold the crop securely, the additional net per bale will reduce the total number of bales possible from every roll.
All of this adds extra cost to your baling business

PRICE €100 per roll
3000M NETWRAP ROLL
300m short per roll = 30 bales LOST = €10 LOST
Extra half turn/bale = 45 bales LOST = €15.30 LOST
TOTAL25.30 LOST

PRICE €120 per roll
3000M NETWRAP ROLL
300m short per roll = 30 bales LOST = €12 LOST
Extra half turn/bale = 45 bales LOST = €18 LOST
TOTAL30 LOST

PRICE €140 per roll
3000M NETWRAP ROLL
300m short per roll = 30 bales LOST = €14 LOST
Extra half turn/bale = 45 bales LOST = €21 LOST
TOTAL35.00 LOST

BENCHMARK TEST
Over the past 3 years, rolls of netwrap of all lengths and types, from most major manufacturers, were analysed in an accurate benchmarking investigation program. The testing procedure was carried out on a purpose – built testing device, manufactured in accordance with the certified testing design of DLG Test Centre.
The Benchmarking tests were conducted to discover the actual length and strength of many of the popular types of netwrap sold in the market today.

Roll Length
The results showed that more than 60% of ALL rolls tested were LESS than the stated length.

Rolls tested that were LESS than stated length

63 % of rolls short by MORE than 100m of stated length
21% of rolls short by MORE than 200m of stated length
8 % of rolls short  by MORE than 300m of stated length

  • The results clearly showed that 6 from every 10 rolls tested over the 3-season time period was more than 100m SHORT LENGTH.
  • More than 20% of the rolls tested were over 200m SHORT LENGTH.
  • 8% of ALL nets tested had over 300m SHORT LENGTH

 

This means that the price of a roll of netwrap with LESS than the stated length, will COST YOUR BUSINESS MORE.
Shorter length netwrap rolls mean the need to BUY MORE ROLLS.
As the ‘average’ 1.2m x 1.2m silage bale uses approximately 10-12m of net per bale, the result of SHORT LENGTH rolls could mean up to 25 FEWER bales per roll.

 

Netwrap Strength
The technology of round balers continues to increase, and the denser and much heavier bales put greater pressure on the netwrap used. Benchmarking tests carried out over the past 3-season period clearly showed that many nets nowadays are not strong enough for modern baling techniques.

% of rolls tested that were WEAKER than Tama Premium netwrap

  • 52% of rolls tested were WEAKER than Tama Premium net average strength

52% of rolls tested were WEAKER than Tama Premium net average strength

  • 20% of rolls tested were more than 25 kgf WEAKER than Tama Premium net average strength

20% of rolls tested were more than 25 kgf WEAKER than Tama Premium net average strength

  • 12% of rolls tested were more than 40 kgf WEAKER than Tama Premium net average strength

of rolls tested were more than 40 kgf WEAKER than Tama Premium net average strength

The WEAKER netwrap will require more wraps of net per bale, so
considerably reducing the number of bales possible from each roll.

If you are buying SHORTER LENGTH and WEAKER netwrap…
how much is ‘cheap price’ netwrap really worth ?

When using Round Bale Netwrap, a few moments, must be taken to ensure correct preparation of your machine in order to achieve the best results. The most common problems of net splitting, tearing or fouling on feed rollers arise from the net ‘laddering’, where threads become broken, leading to a running stitch in the net running opposite to the direction of the net, eventually causing the net to separate where the ‘ladder’ has occurred. This can be caused by many different and varying circumstances but will always have the same ‘ladder’ effect. 

  • Check that the area in which the roll sits is free from dirt and debris. Ensure that all metal surfaces the net comes into contact with are free from rust or sharp edges or weld spots (net box sides, spreader bars and rollers etc.), or dried paint ‘lumps’ on any surfaces which could damage the net. Clean – up with emery paper if necessary. Also, check that the path for the net to the bale behind the feed mechanism is not dirty or rusty, which could restrict the net’s passage when feeding – often identified by a ‘lump’ of net at the start of the wrapping cycle.

This is especially important when starting baling after winter storage.

  • Ensure the net is threaded correctly. Incorrect feeding of the net will cause incorrect tension being applied, leading to feeding and cutting difficulties which, in turn, will cause problems on subsequent net feed cycle. Where the net is fed through a series of fixed tension bars, always make sure these are clean and polished to avoid excessive friction.

Excessive net friction or an un – even surface will cause the net to tear.

  • Where two rollers are used to feed the net, it is imperative these are correctly aligned and tensioned against one another, to enable the net to feed in evenly and under the correct tension. Incorrectly aligned rollers will produce a corresponding un-even net feed and, subsequent cutting action at the end of the wrapping cycle. This will result in poor bale coverage and possible net fouling on the feed rollers at the start of the next cycle. The rollers’ surface should also be closely inspected for abrasions or damage, which could snag the net when feeding.
  • Ensure the feed rollers are clean of any moisture or residue.

NEVER use an aggressive cleaning agent such as petrol or turpentine to clean rubber roller.

  • Always dust rubber rollers down with French chalk or talc powder when loading a new roll of netwrap, or use anti-static spray to reduce net static when operating.

This avoids the net fouling and wrapping around the rollers when feeding in.

  • Carefully inspect the condition of the belt joiners on variable chamber balers for damage or worn connections, as this will snag the net and cause a tear, which will split the net on the bale.
  • Make sure the knife or cutting surface is clean and un-damaged. Poor cutting action will result in an un-even ‘tail’ to the net, which can become tangled in the rollers and feed mechanism.

The number of round bales possible from any roll of netwrap is dependent on at least three things:

  • The diameter of the bale produced
  • The number of turns of net applied to the bale

and – most importantly

  • The roll actually containing the length of net stated

The following table shows the approximate net use on varying sized bales in different crops.
These figures are given as guide and should only be used as an aid to operator usage when baling.

Crop Bale Size No. of
Turns
Bales Per Roll
3150m XL
Bales Per
roll 3600m
Bales Per
Roll 4200m
Bales Per
Roll 4500m
Hay 4’ diameter bale 2-2.25 380-340 430-390 510-450 510-490
Silage 4’ diameter bale 2.25-2.75 340-285 390-320 450-380 490-400
Straw 5’ diameter bale 2.5-3.5 260-290 290-220 340-250 365-260

Many modern balers are equipped with a crop pre-cutting device which, when used in silage, can produce bales containing up to 20% more forage than a ’standard’ bale. This significantly increases the bale weight and density, and requires a corresponding increase in the amount of net that is used to hold the bale securely. Consequently, it is recommended that at least an extra 0.5 turns of net is applied to chopped silage bales. Likewise, when baling high density straw, it may also be necessary to increase the number of turns by at least 0.5 per bale to ensure it remains securely wrapped.

Stretchfilm Questions
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Wrapping silage bales in plastic film offers great flexibility in operation, storage and feed quality. It also enables any excess to be transported conveniently, unlike clamp silage.

With effluent control legislation introduced in the mid 90’s, many farmers switched to silage bales as a means to store their valuable winter forage, as an alternative to expensive improvements required to older clamps.

When looking for a good silage wrap, the following points must be taken into consideration:

The main points include:

CO-EXTRUDED FILM
Mechanical Properties to ensure trouble-free operation in many vital stages of film application and bale handling.
The highest performance can be best achieved from a co-extruded film, allowing the various properties of the film’s ingredients to operate at their most efficient.

TEAR RESISTANCE
The film must have good tear resistance – to reduce breakages at the start of the bale wrapping cycle.

CLING
The film must have a good cling to provide an airtight seal when wrapping. This is essential to ensure all layers bond together and give the protection
needed to produce and maintain the valuable forage crop. A ‘sticky’ feeling film does not always mean the long-term tack level is good; likewise, if a film is noisy,
it does not necessarily suggest a better cling. Films which are very ‘sticky’ to touch are at risk from leaving tack deposits on pre-stretch rollers, leading to later problems.

PUNCTURE RESISTANCE
The film must have a high puncture resistance to withstand the forces of ejection from the turntable onto sharp crop stubble, as well as bale handling and stacking afterwards.

OPACITY
A consistent and uniform Opacity is essential for high quality silage production. When the film is stretched, the film colour must disperse evenly,
without visible ‘windows’ being produced in the film. Such problems could indicate not only a reduced film colour but also a reduction in the vital elements of UV protection
and cling where the film has ‘windowed’. If your film gives a very consistent Black dispersion, with no signs of windowing, it has good opacity.

U.V.
A high and consistent UV Stabilizer in the film is essential, as harmful ultra-violet radiation from the sun will degrade the quality of the film, eventually causing plastic to ‘break down’.

QUALITY I/D
Roll Identification and Quality Assurance. All good film manufacturers identify each roll with a unique i/d number, to provide absolute product traceability after production.
Such production standards not only offer product identification but also a guarantee of quality control and assurance that all products will be to the manufacturer’s consistent standard.

In order to ensure good, high quality silage bales certain important requirements must be met:

UNIFORM AND WELL SHAPED BALES
Important to ensure correct and efficient wrapping. This is of particular importance when wrapping net wrapped bales, as poor bale coverage by the net, resulting in ‘shoulders’ on the bale, will allow air to become trapped within the area between the ’shoulders’ – leading to spoilage and crop loss.

HIGH DRY MATTER BALES
Higher Dry Matter (DM) bales ensure good crop fermentation and also help wrapped bales maintain their shape after compression, aiding bale storage.

WRAP WITHIN 2 HOURS OF BALING
Extended wilt times will encourage the formation of fungi and will also reduce the nutrients in the crop.

WRAP CORRECTLY
Always ensure correct film application, ideally a MINIMUM of 6 layers (essential on Haylage crop), with a MINIMUM 50% overlap. To guarantee correct film application and overlap, film stretch must be controlled to the correct maximum of 70%, as an increase in film stretch causes excessive film ‘neck-down’ leading to reduced film overlap. This can be avoided by always maintaining the pre-stretch rollers  clean and free from tack build-up, and maintaining correct turntable speeds, particularly when wrapping in higher ambient temperatures.

SIZE AND MISSHAPEN BALES
Remember – where a bale diameter exceeds 1.2m, the wrapper cannot provide a minimum 50% overlap without increasing the number of revolutions of the bale. This will also apply when wrapping mis-shapen bales.

STORE BALES CORRECTLY

  • Very often the prime cause of crop spoilage is poorly stored bales.
  • Wrapped bales should be stacked on their ends, allowing the maximum layers of film to be in contact with the ground for added
    protection and eliminating the possibility of bales becoming mis–shaped by further stacking on top.
  • Low DM bales should never be stacked more than one layer high. This will avoid the seal on the film overlap opening through the
    constant heavy pressure exerted on them from bales on top.
  • Always store wrapped bales away from trees, to avoid bird damage. Never leave wrapped bales out in the field for extended periods
    after wrapping, as this too could encourage bird damage.
  • Always cover the completed bale stack with Novatex Silage Net, a close-weave raffia type net on a roll, with the net suspended
    off the bales’ surface by old tyres (or similar) and weighted down at the floor.

Silage crop losses will occur if poor or incorrect procedures are used. The following guidelines
may help to pinpoint any potential problems:

POOR QUALITY CROP

  • Crop not of optimum quality for cutting.
  • Grass contaminated by soil due to mower setting too low.
  • Extended wilting period allowing quality of crop to deteriorate.
  • Poorly shaped bales, with ‘shoulders’, allowing air to become trapped during wrapping.

The use of a net, which can guarantee full width bale coverage, will avoid this.

FILM LAYERS OPENING

  • Low cling properties of the film used.
  • Insufficient layers of film applied.
  • Crop, netwrap or twine protruding between layers preventing a good seal.
  • Uneven film overlap on bale. This can be caused by:
  1. Incorrectly calibrated wrapper.
  2. Insufficient number of turns of the bale (minimum 16 turns for 750mm – 24 turns for 500mm – on a 1.2 x 1.2m bale,  for 4-layer coverage.
    For 6 layer coverage – turn bale 24 turns on 750mm filmand 36 turns for 500mm film.)
  3. Oversized, or misshapen bales (where the greater circumference of the bale will require extra turns to ensure the correct overlap of film).
  4. Film over-stretches – often caused by over-tacked pre-stretch rollers.

FILM SPLITTING

Damaged film used during wrapping, causing it to tear when stretched

  • Insufficient film applied
    Most often found in the area of the bale ahead of the last film applied, signifying the need for another turn of the bale during wrapping.
    Also, remember the first half turn of the bale is required to bring the film up to its full width on application to the bale.
  • Film Over-Stretch
    Often caused by poorer quality film in higher ambient temperatures, excessive turntable speeds when wrapping or over-tacked
    pre-stretch rollers causing an increase in film ‘neck-down’, leading to reduced film over-lap.
  • Bird damage
    Usually very easy to identify, holes through all layers with crop pulled up through the film. Mostly, these holes are found on bale tops only,
    though can occur at ground level when bales are left in the field after wrapping. This can be avoided by using Novatex Silage Nets, raffia style netting on a roll.
  • Punctured film
    Often caused by wrapping crop with very high dry matter (DM), or when bales are ejected from turntable directly onto dry grass stubble.
    For best results, always wrap in the same area of the field, to allow all bales to fall onto same smooth area on the floor.

FILM BREAKS WHEN WRAPPING

If film breaks when wrapping, a close examination of the film break profile will help to identify where the break began. From this, the cause of the break can often be traced back to either the roll, the bale or the film catching on the wrapper, depending where the break began.

The diagram below ilustrates this:

If film breaks when wrapping, a close examination of the film break profile will help to identify where the break began. From this, the cause of the break can often be traced back to either the roll, the bale or the film catching on the wrapper, depending where the break began.

Guide to Stretchwrap usage based upon 4’ Round Bale Silage / Haylage

Film Specification Approx. No. Bales Per Roll (4’ Bale)
6 Layers 4 Layers
500mm Wide x 1800m Long 17 26
750mm Wide x 1500m Long 22 33

Guide to Stretchwrap usage based upon Mini Bales Silage / Haylage

File Specification Approx. No. Bales Per Roll (Mini Bale)
 6 Layers 4 Layers
 1800m Long x 250mm Wide 17 26

How to calculate film usage
The number of bales that can be wrapped from a single roll of stretchfilm can be accurately calculated,
provided the following points are adhered to:

  • THE BALES ARE 1.2m X 1.2m AND OF UNIFORM SHAPE.
  • THE WRAPPER IS CALIBRATED FOR THE CORRECT NUMBER OF TURNS.

4 film layers 24 turns (500mm) or 16 turns (750mm)
6 film layers 36 turns (500mm) or 24 turns (750mm)

  • THE FILM IS ACCURATELY AND CORRECTLY STRETCHED TO 70%.

If all the parameters are correct (bale size, film stretch of 70% and correct number of bale revolutions),
then the following figures will always be achieved.

Any variation to the above parameters will cause numbers to differ.

Given a standard bale size of 1.2m x 1.2m, applying film at 70% stretch using the correct number of turns for
the film width used (24 turns for 500mm and 16 turns for 750mm for 4 layers of film), the calculations are as follows:

A – BALE CIRCUMFERENCE (sum length of all four sides of the bale).
B – TURNS OF THE BALE.
C – FILM LENGTH AFTER STRETCH (film roll length plus 70%).

Multiply A x B and divide into C

Film Width A B C Bales Per Roll
500 mm 4.8m
(1.2m x 4 sides)
24 3,060m
(1,800m + 70%)
26.5
750 mm 4.8m
(1.2m x 4 sides)
16 2,550m
(1,500m +70%)
33.2
Twine Questions
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What to look for when buying your baler twine?

a. Raw Material
Ensure that the twine has been produced with raw material from ISO approved producers.
Poor quality raw material can lead to poor quality end product.

b. Easy Feed
On some makes of twine the spool centre can often collapse and cause difficulty when attempting to draw the first few hundred metres from the spool. Choosing a twine with a larger diameter centre that allows the twine to flow freely from the beginning will eliminate problems.

c. Kinked Twine
A consistent and smooth shape to the twine will eliminate potential ‘hang-ups’ in its path through the baler and knotter mechanism, reducing costly downtime when baling.

d. Fibrillation
When buying Big Bale twines, ensure the twine has a high fibrillation. This guarantees a uniform and consistent twist and will give a higher performance through the knotting mechanism. A highly fibrillated twine will give optimum knot strength and also help avoid knot slippage.

LARGE SQUARE BALING

Very careful attention should be paid to the bale pressure, depending upon the type and condition of crop being baled. During periods of extended dry and hot weather, for instance, straw bales may be noticeably lighter than during normal conditions, with the baler set to the same bale pressure setting.

In these circumstances, a decrease in pressure setting will overcome this; or, alternatively, a move to the next heavier twine is recommended.

For baling good quality large square silage bales, it is important to follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Ensure the crop has wilted to a minimum of 40 – 50% dry matter (DM), which will produce well-formed bales as well as excellent fermentation.
  • Ensure the twine box tension is reduced as much as possible, as twine friction experienced between silage bales during baling is much greater than between straw bales.
  • Eliminate as much air as possible from the crop when baling, as it is essential that sufficient crop is packed into the top of the bale to avoid misshapen bales being formed, which may be difficult for an automatic bale-wrapper to handle properly. A reduction in forward speed will help to achieve this by increasing the number of wads per bale.
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