Bale Bonnets Stop Hay Losses

There's no reason to lose hay to spoilage even in the field, says Alan Schaefer, farmer-manufacturer from Bloomsdale, Mo., who puts "bonnets" on big round bales to reduce or eliminate spoilage.

The 5 by 9-ft. Bale Bonnets, made from heavy-duty 8-mil. black plastic, cover only the top of big bales and are anchored in place with four 8-in. long barbed spikes. You slip the spike through attached grommets in each corner of the plastic and give it a twist, locking it into the hay.

Schaefer explains that, because you can cover bales right after baling, exposed lower ends and sides can still sweat. Bales can be moved normally while covered.

Bale Bonnets have 400% more carbon black and ultraviolet inhibitors in them than ordinary grade plastic and should last up to six years in the open sun -- much longer than regular plastic of that weight, according to Schaefer.