What do farmers around the world prefer: twine or NetWrap? Of course, the question is mostly a matter of preference. A few of the benefits of net packaging include faster packaging, reduced baling and storage losses (due to reduced air), improved integrity of the bale during handling and transportation, and improved water retention capacity. Packaging material and net wrapping equipment are added to packaging costs.
Faster Baling Process
Net wraps use just 11 x 4 to 2 1 1 x 2 rounds of bales to wrap a wrapped bale, against 20 to 30 rounds with string. According to WI research, a baler configured to use net wraps can produce 32% more bales in an hour than a twine. This speeds up the packaging process and allows it to be done more in good weather. It also saves fuel and work. This significantly higher productivity is the main advantage of a net wrap, especially for large area farmers and custom operators who can bear the highest costs for their customers.
Reduce Baling Losses
Since you spin the bale in the chamber a lot fewer times while wrapping it in nets instead of twine, the loss of leaves falling off the press is significantly reduced. In the research, packaging losses were 1.0% dry matter with net packaging and 2.9% with twine.
Reduce Outdoor Storage Losses
Hay storage in the open air causes a lot of deterioration. It is recommended to store the hay indoors to avoid costly decline, but this is not always possible. The reality is that sometimes there are a lot of bales stored outside uncovered.
In trials to measure moisture in the “outer crust” of bales, alfalfa bales covered in net wrap produced better results than the twine bales. The plant material on the stem apparently form a better straw. However, improvement in the water discharge capacity is diminished if the bundles are not piled on a surface with proper drainage (crushed stone, pallets, etc.). Otherwise, the rainwater will come off the bundles and gather at the bottom. When the bales are left on the floor, they work like a sponge and soak up moisture. Significant deterioration happens at the bottom of the bales.
In this study, the nutrient composition in the outer hay crust was significantly higher. The dry matter losses were less critical for net wrapping than for twine, but the core was generally not affected. Total average dry matter losses for bales stored outdoors on the ground were 11.3% for twine-wrapped bales and 7.3% for those that used NetWrap. Net wrapped bales for outdoor storage do not replace indoor storage. With hay prices and today’s highest production costs, hay storage is much more economical.