Minimise storage losses for your silage pit
Poor grass growth this spring meant the majority of farmers were forced to graze their silage ground at least once more than they might have intended.
With silage crops likely to be later and lighter as a consequence, protecting every morsel in the pits is going to be essential.
Visqueen Clingseal is a new high-performance clamp sheet which manufacturer BPI Agri claims reduces top and shoulder spoilage and costly losses at the clamp face.
Designed for use with a conventional silage sheet, Visqueen Clingseal is a flexible clamp film that is used directly beneath traditional heavier silage sheeting. It is applied to the silage clamp before the application of the uppermost silage sheeting and any weights.
At 40 microns, it is thinner and more flexible than standard silage sheets. This allows it to cling more closely to the contours of the clamp surface and tuck-in better at the sides.
The manufacturer claims that it helps eliminate air pockets and provides a close-fitting air barrier to significantly reduce top and shoulder losses from aerobic spoilage.
They also claim it provides a better air seal to facilitate a faster, more efficient fermentation process, resulting in silage with greater nutritional value and increased DM intake potential.
Under commercial silage making conditions, research has shown that total dry matter (DM) losses of 25pc can be expected from field to feed out, whilst in-silo losses of 5pc to 18pc are typical.
Research by Teagasc and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute at Hillsborough has confirmed similar storage losses for clamp silage made in Ireland.
BPI Agric claim that Visqueen Clingseal can significantly reduce pit losses.
Sean O'Connor, general manager BPI Agri Ireland explained: "This research highlights the importance of ensuring that all steps are taken to minimise these losses during the harvesting and clamping process. So, if a farmer has previously suffered surface spoilage deeper than 0.5cm, that alone covers the cost."
Visqueen Clingseal will be available for the first time this year on the Irish market from Agri merchants and co-op stores.
Mr O'Connor believes that it will also be popular with farmers ensiling moist feeds like brewers' grains and crimped maize.
Clamp losses are costly for all farmers, but even more so when using these higher value crops which are more prone to wastage. The manufacturer is also keen to highlight Visqueen Clingseal's strong green credentials.
In marked contrast to similar products which typically contain nylon, Visqueen Clingseal is made entirely from easy to recycle polythene.
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