The Benefits of Wrapping Hay - Ackerman's Equipment
Select Page

Properly wrapping your hay can yield significant benefits, as improper storage practices may result in spoilage of the outer edges of your round bales. This is crucial to recognize, given that the outer 3 inches of your bale make up 25% of the whole.

Let’s examine the practices of two neighboring farms, both requiring 400 round, dry bales annually. Farmer Jim produces dry hay, while Farmer Ted opts for baleage wrapped in plastic.

Storage Loss

Farmer Jim experiences a 25% loss of his bales due to field and storage issues, resulting in 533 bales produced to retain 400 usable ones after losing 133. 500 bales x 25% = 133 lost bales

On the other hand, Farmer Ted with his bale wrapping method, has 0% storage loss, therefore producing exactly 400 bales.

Harvesting Time

Farmer Jim dedicates three days to hay harvesting, starting on May 20th with mowing, followed by tedding that same afternoon. He then rakes and bales on May 23rd, sighing with relief that he does not need to spend time wrapping his bales. Each bale takes Jim approximately 15.9 minutes. 533 bales x 15.9 minutes = 141 hours

On May 17th, Ted mows his hay. Without the need for tedding and raking, he has his hay baled and wrapped by May 18th. Farmer Ted has 10.9 minutes per bale recorded. 400 bales x 10.9 minutes = 73 hours

Time Savings

Both farmers incur an average tractor and labor cost of $41 per hour. Here lies a substantial time-saving advantage for Ted. Jim’s total labor cost amounts to $5,781, whereas Ted’s is significantly lower at $2,993, resulting in a $2,788 difference.

141 hours x $41 = $5,781 versus 73 hours x $41 = $2,993

Total Cost

Additional expenses are associated with baling hay. Farmer Jim frowns upon realizing that he needs to calculate his 25% bale loss at $30 per bale. 133 lost bales x $30 = $3,990

Grunting a little, Farmer Ted tosses his bill for the plastic onto his desk. He figures it out and is satisfied that $3 per bale isn’t too bad. 400 wrapped bales x $3 = $1,200

Now get out your calculator, and let’s do the math.

The comparison reveals that Farmer Ted spends $5,578 less annually than Farmer Jim.

Farmer Ted’s Benefits

By minimizing storage loss and harvesting time, Farmer Ted anticipates paying off his wrapper investment within five years. Additionally, he enjoys the flexibility of working within a 24-hour weather window, allowing better control over crop cutting times. By cutting early, Ted is retaining quality hay, allowing his animals to gain weight with less feed Also, Ted’s time savings allow for an extra cutting of hay annually, leading to 4-5 cuts per season.

Initially when Farmer Ted evaluated his overall costs of operation, he saw that 68% of his cost was feed. By lowering his feed costs through hay wrapping, he ultimately retains more profit.

While wrapping hay is not the perfect solution for every operation, it made a significant difference for Farmer Ted. Ackerman’s has Round Balers and Bale Wrappers in stock. Contact a representative today to learn how you and your farm can capitalize on the advantages enjoyed by Farmer Ted.

*Sources: 2004 AgCensus,  Baleage 101- Scott Morrison

Subscribe to Our Newsletter