Another hay method that is becoming more popular is to use a specialized baler to create high moisture bales, or baleage. In this system the bale is entirely covered with a plastic wrap to exclude oxygen. This method eliminates the need for a separate chopper and hauling system, while still allowing a producer to harvest at higher moisture levels. The plastic wrapping does present some challenges. First, these bales need to be handled carefully to avoid creating holes and allowing air to contact the forage. Second, there would be a significant amount of plastic to be disposed of with each bale. A producer should consider how that waste would be disposed before adopting this system.
Adopting either of these higher moisture harvest methods would lead to some additional expenses for plastic wrap, fuel, labor etc. The hay producer needs to evaluate that added cost with the potential for improved forage quality and determine if alternatives to dry baled hay make economic sense for their business.
Source: Warren Rusche