May 2017
Farm & Field

The Knotty Truth About Net Wrap

Consider the total cost when choosing a baling product.

 

When it comes to profitability in farm animals, controlling loss is the name of the game, whether you are maximizing your calf crop to sell or not losing any of your hay supply to spill and spoilage. In the March issue, we shared with you the manufacturing process of poly twine. This month, we would like to try and inform you of the process and benefits of the poly net wrap we have to offer at your local Quality Co-ops.

There is no doubt when it comes to least-cost production that baling twine typically comes in first place. However, once you examine all the costs and losses, are you really saving money? Net wrap has many benefits, but its greatest asset to a farmer is how tight and uniform the bales stay, especially when being stored for long periods of time. This prevents moisture penetration, spoilage and loss of product; and helps maintain strength when being stacked. Net wrap will typically outperform twine in most all outdoor storing applications.

Tytan Net Wrap is made of 100-percent polyethylene. Most of the net wraps being sold to consumers carry similar lengths and widths. Tytan brand is one of the strongest because of its proven production processes and quality-control standards.

The net wrap journey from polyethylene pellets to the final product is fascinating to watch and vastly different from poly twine. The process begins by melting the polyethylene beads into a liquid state and then by blowing them into a bubble in the extruder. The bubble is approximately 25 inches in diameter. As this bubble rises from the base, it travels about 40 feet, allowing it to cool and solidify, and becomes more rigid to handle. It is then run through a set of rollers that fold it in half and wound onto large cores. The secret to making the polyethylene strong is all in the bubble! One mistake and the entire run of yarn will be below specifications and rejected. The parameters, by which the bubble is made, are a trade secret and held closely.

Once the cores have time to dry and cure, they are placed on the slitting machine where they will be cut into individual threads and run directly onto the loom. The strength of the net wrap yarn comes from the bi-directional strength of the polyethylene. The individual yarns are sent to the knitting machine where they are knitted into the end product. The warp yarns (vertical running) give strength to the wrap; weft yarns (horizontal) give the net wrap its spacing and hold the warp in place.

The net wrap procedure is a unique process and we were not allowed to get much information about it due to the technology of the patented process.

When baling with net wrap, there are a few things you need to do to make sure it goes smoothly. Before baling, inspect the net wrap to make sure the ends are cut evenly. One long strand can lead to tearing. Also, make sure the core isn’t wet. If it is, it will need to be replaced before getting started.

Alabama Farmers Cooperative Inc. has a strong vendor relationship with Tytan International that has manufacturing facilities in the United States and abroad.

The majority of Tytan Net Wrap is manufactured in Clearfield, Utah. The primary color is white with a blue tracer on one side. Tytan Net Wrap has a red end-of-roll warning marker at 164 feet. Tytan Plus is the product of choice because the weight of fabric is heavier and thus has more UV protection for Southeast baling.

AFC’s Decatur warehouse is stocking 45- and 64-inch rolls that are edge-to-edge, and 51- and 67-inch rolls that are beyond-the-edge products.

Visit www.alafarm.com/locations/storelist/default.aspx for a Co-op near you.

We hope everyone has a prosperous spring hay harvest and remember to reach for the Tytan label when purchasing your twine and net wrap needs.

 

Tim Lucier and Robert Hardy are sales reps for AFC Farm & Home division.