During the NCBA Trade Show I visited with New Holland which was just releasing new and improved Roll-Belt Round Balers. Improvements came from a recent Penn State University study on “Bale Density Effects on Baleage Quality.” I talked to Curt Hoffman, New Holland and Jessica Williamson, Extension Forage Specialist, Penn State. Jessica was one of the authors of the Penn State study.
A recent study completed by Penn State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences confirms round bale density leads to improved cattle nutrition and producer return on investment. In the study, New Holland Roll-Belt round balers produced the highest-density bales in all tests compared to three leading competitors.
“This research affirms the many benefits of denser bales we have discovered through years in the field,” says Curt Hoffman, hay and forage crop packaging and marketing manager for New Holland, North America. “Not only does higher bale density improve feed quality and lower costs, it improves producer ROI through a variety of efficiency gains.”
The study found that denser bales had greater total acid production and stayed cooler through the fermentation process. This increases the whole-bale bunk life of round bales through reduced spoilage, allowing for the feeding of larger-diameter bales to the same number and size of cattle without waste. Penn State observed up to 25 more hours of bunk life due to higher bale density.
“What research has shown in the past is that with any fermented forage or any ensiled forage, typically the denser you can pack that forage, the better fermentation you’re going to have,” says Jessica A. Williamson, Ph.D., extension forage specialist for Penn State University. “[Better fermentation] overall is going to give you a better-quality product to feed your animals.”
Higher density equates to up to 39 percent fewer bales, resulting in less twine or net wrap used as well as plastic silage film, reduced labor, and less overall baling and bale-moving time in the field.
Learn more in my interview with Curt and Jessica here: Interview with New Holland