Advice, tips & news for farmers who want to 'work smarter'

How To Stack and Handle Silage Bales

Posted by Glenn Walton on Oct 25, 2016 3:52:26 PM

How important is it to do this right?

Very important: A high-quality crop, good quality bale wrap, and top notch wrapping system will have been wasted if the bales are not stacked and stored correctly or left in an unsuitable environment.


Check out the video to see why Stratford Farms in South Canterbury use Rata Wrapped Bale Grabs to handle the 4,000 silage bales they produce every year:



Why is it important to wrap and handle bales correctly?

At Rata Equipment, we've seen a good number of changes in the way people handle and store wrapped bales since we started manufacturing wrapped bale handlers back in 1997 and one thing that's remained the same is the fact the air getting into a bale is going to cause secondary fermentation of the silage, reducing the final feed quality.


Bale handling tips:

Adhering to the following tips will give farmers and contractors alike the best chance of achieving quality feed and ensuring their initial hard work is not wasted.



Wrapped bale handling & storage tips:


Tip 1: Dispatch bales gently from the bale wrapper to avoid damage, in particular on grass stubble.

Tip 2: Use a purpose built, Rata Wrapped Bale Handler and never a spike that will puncture the air tight seal.

Tip 3: Stack bales as soon as possible after wrapping, wrapped bales in the field are prone to damage from stock & wildlife.

Tip 4: Transport and store bales on the end with the most plastic against the ground. Round bales should always be stored on the flat side only.

Tip 5: Secure the area where the wrapped bales are stored so the plastic is protected from sharp objects and animals, domestic cats should be discouraged.

Tip 6: Keep away from fertilisers, herbicides and mineral oil which can damage the plastic

Tip 7: Do not stack bales more than three high, bales with a low dry matter should be stored in a single layer, these are generally heavier. This prevents bales squashing under the weight and rupturing the wrap.

Tip 8: If practical, a sand base layer is recommended. Ideally, roll out a protective layer of heavy gauge polythene sheeting underneath the stack.


"The even grip and great vision that our Rata wrapped bale clamp provides takes all the hard work out of our days in the field"


Rata Soft Hands.jpg


"Too often bales are damaged when arranging the bales side by side onto transport or in the storage area, not with my Rata soft hands".


Rata Soft Hands 1.jpg

"The equlizer bar fitted to my Rata soft hands dramatically increases the speed that the operator can move the bales on slopes and around corners without loosing the slightest bit if grip on the bale."

Here are just some of the things that Rata have built into the wrapped bale clamp:
  • Standard removable equalizer bar - To give better control of the bale & consistent clamping pressure!
  • Slim arm design to fit between bales - So you can stack those bales even closer together!
  • Heavy duty greasable arm pivots - So you can put the hours in without downtime or breakdowns!
  • Robust back frame - So the bale clamp can be mounted to large tractors or telehandlers!

Want to own a Rata Bale Clamp?

Contact Us Here

Summing up:


The correct handling and storage of bales is vital to preserve and retain the quality and nutritional value of the feed inside.


When all your bales are wrapped, farm workers must be aware of the importance of correct storage methods and not be tempted to leave them exposed and just hope for the best. Also, being aware of the damage that can be caused when transferring bales from the field into storage and also knowing where to store them is the key to a successful season.

Ensuring you are using the correct gear and methods to handle bales or any other feed is important to ensure you get the most from your crop, check out out the Winter Feed Handling Page for tips and information on handling everything from bales to silage and PK: Winter Feed Handling


Need to talk to an expert?

Contact Us Here


Check out the most popular bale grab in NZ: Rata Wrapped Bale Clamp


Topics: Bale Handling & Storage