In the agricultural industry, we are in the business of raising beef. On our family’s operation, we feed cattle 365 days a year. The primary feed is forage. Forage can be grazed at pasture or cut and rolled up into large round bales and wrapped with net wrap to be stored until use. The net wrap is a product that has increased water shedding ability and decrease storage losses or wasted feed. The problem that is occurring with net wrap, is when the bales are ground into smaller particles for mixing with other feed ingredients, the net wrap is not removed. Therefore, small pieces of plastic are mixed with the feed. Research by universities has shown there is the possibility that this wrap can get trapped in the stomach of the cattle, decreasing feed efficiency and can lead to health problems or death. This wrap isn’t digestible. There is a need to develop a form of net wrap that can be used to bind the forage until processing and is digestible for the cattle. The product must withstand environmental elements seen across the country and digest in the rumen or stomach of all classes of livestock being fed ground hay.
Project objectives from proposal:
There are 3 main considerations with this project overall: product durability, functionality, and cost effectiveness.
1.This project needs research into ingredients that could be used in this net wrap. Some ingredients researched, but not limited to are:
Hemp/hemp oil, Flax straw, Sunflowers/Soybean Meal, Distillers, Ethanol syrup, Corn stalks, Wheat gluten, soy, corn zein, Twine/similar fibrous, Cotton, Banana husks
2.Based on research, the next step is to manipulate the chosen materials into a composition for net wrap. It will need to be tested to withstand environmental elements, water shed and decreased storage loss components. The ingredients should be digestible.