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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Shinners, Kevin
item Huenink, Brian
item Muck, Richard
item Albrecht, Kenneth

Submitted to: ASAE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/28/2002
Publication Date: 7/28/2002
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Several methods to store large round dry hay bales of alfalfa and grass/alfalfa were investigated, including: sisal twine (ST), plastic twine (PT), to-edge net wrap (TEN), cover-edge net wrap (CEN), plastic bale bonnets (BB) and indoor storage (IS). The outdoor storage treatments were split between placing bales either directly on the ground or on a well-drained surface. Storage characteristics were quantified by moisture in the rind versus time, final moisture distribution, dry matter loss and nutrient change. Storage length was either 5 or 12 months. Net wrapped bales consistently had lower moisture in the rind and lower dry matter loss than twine wrapped bales. Net wrapped bales shed more water than twine wrapped bales, so storage on a well-drained surface was important to maintain the quality of the bottom of the bale. Average DM loss across all trials was 19.5, 11.3 and 7.3% of DM for ST, PT, and net treatments, respectively. Losses were significantly less for the BB and IS bales compared to other treatments. Storing on a well-drained surface reduced losses for all treatments. Bales were also stored and preserved as individually or tube wrapped silage bales at 50 and 35% moisture. Storage characteristics were quantified by observed degree of mold formation, dry matter loss, nutrient change and fermentation products. Although much below the moisture range usually considered acceptable for chopped forage, preservation of bales at ~35% moisture was excellent despite the low level of desirable fermentation products produced. The tube wrap system was about 50% more productive while requiring about 43% less plastic compared to individually wrapped bales. The DM losses for the low moisture silage were all below 7% and often below 3%. After removal from storage, the low moisture silage bales took over 7 d to reach 35 C, indicating good aerobic stability despite low levels of fermentation.

Last Modified: 05/26/2017
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