Wrapping Hay to Beat Wet Weather

Wrapping Hay to Beat Wet Weather

Does rain often damage your high quality hay just before it’s ready to bale?  If so, you might want to consider a new option: baling hay tough, then wrapping it with stretch wrap plastic to keep out water and air while keeping nutrients in.

Studies have shown excellent success wrapping bales containing 25%-40% moisture.  After a full year in storage, the hay came out in great shape, with very little storage loss, a nice silage-like odor, and well-preserved nutrients.

Wrapping tough hay reduces weather risk because wrapping often occurs at least a day sooner than normal baling.  Both yield and forage quality can be higher because fewer leaves are lost than with dry hay.

It does take a lot of plastic, though.  Six or seven layers are needed to maintain feed quality.  If you don’t use enough plastic or fail to repair any holes, this kind of hay can spoil very fast.