FAQ – Twine and Net Wrap Baling
What to find on this page:
UV Radiation Map | Twine Baling Tips | Twine Baling Troubleshooting | Netwrap Tips | Netwrap Troubleshooting | Stretchwrap Tips | Strechtwrap Troubleshooting | What Causes Hay Fires? Fire Prevention and Control | Management Tips for Round Bale Hay Harvesting, Moving, and Storage.
Scroll down for details for each Hay Baling subject…
UV Radiation Map
Twine Baling Tips
Careful attention should be given to the bale pressure depending on the type and conditions of crops being baled. In periods of extended dry and hot weather for example, straw bales can be much lighter than during normal conditions, even thought the baler is set to the same pressure settings.
In this situation, increasing the pressure in an attempt to produce heavier weight bales will exert greater tension on the twine, which can lead to potential failures. This however is not a twine problem. Failures are usually due to the drier crop having more potential energy and producing a bale with much more spring and significantly less weight for the same baler pressure setting.
If you experience difficulties then either reduce pressure setting or change up to the next heavier type of twine.
Baler care is obviously important to ensure efficient trouble free use, regular greasing and maintenance is of great importance, according to the baler manufacturer’s instructions.
The manufacturer’s handbook will also provide useful guidance on checks to be made should bale-tying troubles occur.
Regular checks on the conditions of twine knifes, keeper blades and bill hooks while ensuring correct threading and condition of twine guides and tension plates will all assist in trouble free baling.
There are many reasons for twine breakage, some common reasons are:
Varying thickness TWINE
More liable to produce knots which are loose when coming off the bill hook, allowing the twine ends to reduce as the knot tightens when the bale is ejected from the chamber, leading to knot slippages.
COARS AND RIGID TWINE
These tend to have an inflexible quality which, when operating in a knotting mechanism, tend to form knots that enlarge when being drawn off the bill hook. Again, the knots are likely to slip open when the bale is ejected and maximum pressure is applied as the bale begins to expand.
POORLY TWISTED TWINE
This twine will be prone to miss-ties due to its irregular shape which makes it difficult for the knotter to handle correctly. Often the twine will be split apart when picked up by the bill hook, causing it to “hang up” and “miss-tie”. These twines are also less likely to hold position correctly in the twine retainers, causing incorrect tension when feeding knotters.
Twine Baling Troubleshooting
- Frayed or broken twine in the knot,
- Frayed or broken twine in near the knot,
- Twine breaking on completes bales.
- Insufficient clearance between face of knife and back of bill hook. Excessive tension on twine retainer,
- Rough surfaces on stripper arm, twine finger or needle slots,
- Excessive bale compression. Sharp edge on tail gate.
- Carefully bend knife arm to allow bill hook to rotate freely. Decrease tension on twine retainer.
- Inspect and smooth all relevant surfaces.
- Adjust bale tension. Inspect and repair as necessary.
To achieve the best results from your baler at the beginning of the season or when starting work with a new baler, spend time checking over the machine and setting it up correctly. A couple of hours spent at this point will save hours of lost productivity in season.
Problem: Net Splitting
- Netwrap damaged whilst in packaging.
- Net being snagged or damaged in baler, causing laddering
- Insufficient net applied to the bale.
- Bale being damaged by chamber rollers during bale ejection, as bale does not eject immediately. Very obvious in some fixed chamber balers, when making heavy or very dense bales. At the point of ejection, the bale remains static whilst the rollers are rotating, scuffing bale across entire width, leaving a very obvious straight-line damage on bale surface. This will, eventually, damage the net and cause it to break.
- Unroll netwrap until identified damage has disappeared. Always handle netwrap with care whilst transporting.
- Check net path through baler for sharp edges, rust, weld spots or paint drips on fixed bars. Check net is not being damaged on end, within the net box space. On fixed chamber roller balers, check the condition of chamber rollers for damage which could disrupt the net during application to the bale. On Variable belt balers check the condition of the belt joiners. Worn or damaged units will tear net.
- Bales should always have a minimum of 2 turns of net per bale.
- Reduce baler rpm. Check that baler to tractor coupling angle is correct. Try not to eject bale on “up” incline. Investigate possibility of fitting a kit to assist bale ejection.
Problem: Net wrapping around feed rollers
- Uneven net cutting leaving Long tails of net catching on feed rollers.
- Feed rollers worn or damaged, catching net when running.
- Feed rollers wet or stickily from damp or crop residue.
- Rollers left under tension from braking mechanism, embedding net into rubber roll surface, causing net to roll onto feed rollers instead of feeding freely.
- Netwrap feed guide behind feed rollers damp or dirty from crop residue.
- Adjust brake tension to give a cleaner cut on the net and look at the cutting action and ensure the knife is clean and undamaged.
- Check feed rollers are smooth and free from anything that may interfere with the netwrap.
- Clean rollers and apply talc (French chalk) or anti static spray.
- Reduce tension between feed rollers when not baling.
- Clean net feed guide plate.
Problem: Net not spreading to edge of bale
- Netwrap not tensioned sufficiently.
- Uneven bale density.
- Crop residue jammed in baler.
- Feed rollers miss aligned
- Check and adjust net wrap tension in baler. More tension will help net to spread better.
- Bales with less dense edges will cause the net to “neck down” on the bale and go to the edge.
- Crop jammed between chamber belts and drive rollers will restrict the net from being applied evenly to the bale.
- Check and correct feed roller alignment. Bad adjustment will lead to uneven feeding and therefore application to the bale.
Problem: Net snapping in baler
- Roll of net jammed tight in bale box.
- Excessive friction on the net.
- Check core is not swollen and out of shape, restricting its operation in baler. Check netwrap box is not restricting roll running freely. Check there is not too much brake tension being applied to the roll.
- Ensure baler’s fixed tension bars are clean, free from dirt and rust and that the net is threaded correctly. Incorrect installation can lead to broken net, feeding and cutting problems.
To Make High quality silage certain conditions must be present. Below are some good tips towards achieving this and some problem solving solutions.
- GRASS MOWING – Make sure that the grass is cut 5-6cm from the ground to avoid soil contamination during drying, raking, baling and wrapping. Soil contamination will reduce the quality of the fodder in the ensiled bale. High dry matter content in a bale promotes good fermentation.
- Baling – The bale should be made at the highest density possible, to reduce the amount of air within the bale to the minimum. It is important to make well formed, uniform bales and to apply net evenly across the full bale width S2S (side to side). Exposed fluffy shoulders on a bale also allow air to be trapped when the bale is wrapped leading to spoilage and fodder loss.
- Wrapping Time – Bales should ideally be wrapped immediately after production. The maximum window to wrap bales is 3 hours. Longer periods will allow contamination from airborne factors such as fungi reducing fodder quality. Also the longer the wilt times the fewer nutrients that are maintained in the fodder.
- Ensure the wrapper is set up correctly – Measure the width of the film before applying it to a bale. Then measure the width of film on the bale. A maximum film reduction of 20% is allowed. A greater reduction will cause film weakening and a reduction of the protection lifespan.
Example. For 750mm film it is possible to reduce the width to a minimum finished width of 600mm.
To ensure this, always keep the pre stretch rollers well maintained, at the correct speed ratio and free from tack build up. If the wrapper does not have a pre stretch unit neck down can be controlled by varying the turntable speed.
- Film Application – A minimum of 6 layers of film should be applied. Each layer should overlap the previous layer by at least 50% to achieve guaranteed results.
- BALE STORAGE – Round bale wrappers always apply a greater number of layers of film to the flat ends of a bale. Therefore wrapped bales should always be stacked on their ends, insuring the maximum layers of film are in contact with the ground for added protection. Before stacking the ground should be cleared of all sharp objects, stones etc so that the film is not punctured. This form of stacking also reduces the possibility of bales becoming miss-shaped by further stacking on top.
Bales should never be stacked more than 2 high.
Particularly high moisture content bales should never be stacked. This prevents the seal on the film from opening due to high pressure forces from weight above.
Wrapped bales should be stored away from trees or bushes. This avoids damage from branches etc and helps to reduce bird damage. Never leave wrapped bales out in the field for long periods after wrapping as this can also encourage bird damage.
To avoid bird or other animal damage finished bale stacks should covered with special bird mesh screens.
Problem: Film Layers Opening
- Low tack on the film used,
- Insufficient layers of film applied,
- Uneven film overlap on bale.
- Incorrect storage of the bale.
- Use a film with high quality tack
- Apply a minimum of 6 layers of film with a minimum 50% overlap
- Check turntable speed and correct setting and cleanliness of pre stretch rollers. Film will overstretch if the pre stretch rollers are contaminated with tack. Oversize, or misshapen bales will also cause this as the greater circumference of the bale will require extra turns to ensure correct overlap of film.
Problem: Film Splitting
- Damaged film used during wrapping,
- Insufficient film applied,
- Overstretching film,
- Film catching on wrapping mechanism during application
- Check film before installing,
- Apply more turns of film,
- Excessive turntable speeds when wrapping or pre-stretch rollers covered in tack causing the film to overstretch leading to reduced film over-lap.
Problem: Punctured Film
- Bird damage
- Damaged pre stretch rollers
- High dry matter crop
- Sharp objects on the ground where the bale is edgected from the wrapper
- Store bales correctly and cover the finished stack
- Holes will be regular in shape and position. Check rollers and repair where necessary.
- If necessary apply more layers of film to prevent puncturing.
- If possible transport bales to the stack site and wrap in one location where ground conditions can be controlled.
Problem: Film breaks when wrapping
- Damaged roll of film
- Sharp object on the bale surface
- Film catching on the mechanism of the wrapper
- Check and replace film roll
- Remove offending object from bale
- Check and adjust / repair the wrapping mechanism