I had never heard of photodegradable netting.... and from what I looked up after reading your post and out of curiosity, it says 90 plus days according to the amount of ultraviolet light. So, I guess this is a good opportunity for you to do some "research" on it and report back to us. I know that the straw will be degrading (composting) as the grass grows up through it and it will stabilize and even feed the grass seed.... will be interesting in how fully it breaks down this straw retaining stuff, and how fast it degrades.
Yeah, investing in hay equipment plus the time and all is not worth it if you don't have alot of animals to justify it... plus the time it takes to make it.... Believe me, we sometimes even question our sanity and we make ALOT of hay. Sounds like what you need/want for the sheep is a good 2nd cutting orchard grass hay... we make some that is very "bladey" and the 2nd cutting is a soft - not stalky - hay that we sell to horse customers. The cattle do well on the 1st cutting that is coarser, and the mixed grass hay we make on rented and/or "given to us to just make the hay " ground. Still we put out 1,000's of dollars in fertilizer even on those type places to justify the time and expense to make it.... not much sense to make hay on marginal ground and get 1-2 rolls to the acre, when fertilizer to feed the ground will give us 2-5 rolls.... It costs the same to run over the same amount of ground regardless of what we get. We often buy hay that others have that is surplus, because they are selling it for what it costs us to make it or below our costs. We have been rotating the cattle more, partially for the worm situation also, and making less hay on "pasture fields" if there is fencing, and sometimes buying extra instead. If we get an extra month or so out of some of the places with grazing, why make the hay.... let the cows do the harvesting. Of course many places there is no fences, or no water, and without long term leases, you cannot afford to do fencing.... It is too risky to even do electric on some of the rented ground because of the heavy deer population here, and liability issues if cattle get out. But many places there is no water even if the "iffy fences" could be fixed.... and it costs too much to be hauling water everywhere. That negates the advantage of the pasture.....
Good luck finding the hay you want. If you find a good supplier, stick with them and don't haggle alot on the price. Then if we have a dry year, they will take care of you because you are a good customer. We have a couple of horse people that we have had for over 20 years.... they sometimes help unload if they are there at home when we deliver, they have stayed with us all along, and when we were in dry conditions we made sure we had enough hay put back to get them through with what they "normally got" on a yearly average. They always have the money there, or a couple will call within a day or 2 of delivery and say how much and have a check in the mail, and we get it within a week. NOTHING WORSE, than someone that drags out paying..... and we don't tolerate customers like that anymore. Hay out of the field is pay when you get it..... non-negotiable. We will give a new customer a couple bales to take home and see if their animals like it before we take them on as a customer... and they know the terms up front.
That is a shame on the plastic not degrading like it should/was claimed to do. That is a real disappointment for you.
Hope the bale of hay works better. At least it will all break down as the earthworms work on it.
I think I would tell the company that you are very dissatisfied with it and why....