Types of Alfalfa Bale Wrap Compared

A University of Minnesota graduate student investigated types of bale wrap and their effects on alfalfa baling time, dry matter losses, nutrient values, moisture levels, cost, and bale value. Here’s what she found.
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Types of Alfalfa Bale Wrap Compared
Reiter focused her study specifically on bales stored outside over a 12-month period. She evaluated three wrap types: plastic twine, net wrap, and B-Wrap. | Photo: Courtesy Amanda Reiter

Storing large round bales of hay can be challenging, and storage conditions and type of bale wrap can affect dry matter losses and nutrient values significantly.

Amanda Reiter, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Animal Science, in Falcon Heights, recently compared types of bale wrap and their effects on alfalfa baling time, dry matter losses, nutrient values, moisture levels, cost, and bale value. She shared her findings at the 2019 Equine Science Society Symposium, held June 3-6 in Asheville, North Carolina.

“Ideally, you would store bales inside, away from moisture, snow, etc.,” Reiter said. “However, not everyone has that luxury, so we commonly store outside, which leads to 7-35% dry matter losses vs. 2-7% inside

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Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

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