Historically, the best way to protect the hay quality of large round bales has been to store bales indoors. For 2013, John Deere is offering producers a new way with B-Wrap, which provides an alternative to indoor storage.
“B-Wrap is rolled onto round bales just like regular net wrap,” says Laura Cobb, senior marketing representative for the John Deere Ottumwa Works. “But B-Wrap protects bales much better than net, significantly reducing storage losses and maintaining nutrient quality of hay.”
B-Wrap protects bales with a material that features Tama SCM Technology. The material sheds rain and snow and helps protect bales from ground moisture. The Tama SCM Technology also has pores that allow water vapor inside the bales to escape.
“All bales sweat after they are made,” notes Cobb. “B-Wrap allows that moisture to escape. If you have ever covered a new hay bale with plastic, you’ve seen how moisture condenses where the plastic touches the bale. B-Wrap lets the moisture inside the bale escape, even as it protects hay from outside rain and ground moisture.”
B-Wrap comes in rolls just like net wrap and works in John Deere 7, 8, and most 9 Series round balers equipped for applying net wrap. A John Deere dealer needs to install a B-Wrap kit, which allows a baler to switch between net wrap and B-Wrap. For producers baling in the field, switching between net and B-Wrap takes fewer than five minutes.
“B-Wrap does cost a few dollars more per bale than net wrap, so most hay producers will use B-Wrap mainly to protect their best quality hay, or hay that will be stored for an extended amount of time,” says Cobb. “Producers involved in our initial field trials reported that hay protected by B-Wrap looked and smelled like the day it was baled, even after spending a winter outside.”
In addition to being used to protect all types of baled hay, B-Wrap can be used when baling crop residue such as straw, cornstalks and peanut hay.
B-Wrap will be available for the 2013 hay season. For more information visit www.JohnDeere.com.