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Optimising Quality and Quantity with Film & Film Wrapping

Optimising Quality and Quantity with Film & Film Wrapping

Henk De Haus works alongside his father and brother in a progressive family business that provides a range of agricultural contracting services in the Utrecht area of The Netherlands.

The business specialises in silage, making up to 14000 bales annually, and has invested in advanced balewrapping machinery for the production of both round and square bales in order to service their dairy, beef and equine customers. One such investment was the McHale Fusion 3 Plus, an integrated combi-wrapper that can apply Baletite baler film to bind a bale as well as netwrap.

“We chose the McHale Fusion 3 Plus for a number of reasons” says Henk. “In addition to its overall reliability, and its large wheels that reduce soil compaction, the option to use Baletite to secure a bale before it is wrapped made sense to us.”

“With the circumference of a bale traditionally the least protected area we believed Baletite would make a real difference to baled silage in terms of mould reduction on the largest surface.”

Having used the Silotite stretchfilm range for several years, Henk was aware of the Baletite product - a stiff baler film that compresses a bale significantly during the binding process. In doing so, it reduces the opportunity for air ingress while providing additional surface protection.

When used in combination with SilotitePro next generation balewrap, both films form the FILM&FILM (F&F) wrapping system. Four years on, F&F wrapping has been widely adopted across the De Haus customer base not only because it it reduces forage waste but also because of the convenience it offers post use. As Baletite is made from low density polythene it can be recycled alongside SilotitePro balewrap thereby removing the need to separate and segregate the films for recycling.

F&F bales have also proved popular with farmers because they are quick and easy to open. Whether opening manually or with a sheargrab, the process is quick and easy as both films peel smoothly from the bale. Additionally, on cold winter mornings, no silage freezes to Baletite as it does with netwrap.

When wrapping F&F bales, Henk applies 3.5 layers of Baletite 1380mm x 20um to a bale followed by 6 layers of SilotitePro 1950mm x 20um stretchfilm.

Henk’s experience is that once farmers see the result of F&F wrapping, they don’t return to netwrapped bales. Most of his customers have converted to F&F balewrapping - a fact backed up by the wrapping statistics recorded on the McHale Fusion 3 Plus’ control panel which shows that 9568 bales had been bound using Baletite (at the time of writing) as opposed to just 545 bound with netwrap.

From the contractors perspective, F&F wrapping has a lot to offer. The longer film reels means Henk can stay in the cab longer as fewer reel changes are necessary. The additional film layers round the centre of the bales makes them easier to handle and less prone to damage. But, importantly, customer feedback is very positive: they get better quality silage with significantly reduced forage waste.