With rising farm input costs across the board, it is now becoming important more than ever to pay attention to production costs & how to maximise the output from our forage. Not only is it key to reduce costs when it comes to silage making, but also to reduce plastic consumption to lessen the impact of recycling taxes which are being implemented globally.
Silostop has been helping growers to produce better forage for several decades, with technical knowledge, and it’s innovative product range that was a pioneer in its field and is continually improving.
A question we are asked often, can Silostop products be reused?
Oxygen barrier films
Our silage films are designed as a one layer product, made from 9 Polyethylene layers combined with High Oxygen Barrier layers (HOB), to inhibit the entry of oxygen through the sheet. At 45 microns, Silostop Orange is the thinnest HOB sheet on the market & will cling down to the silage to create anaerobic conditions immediately, thus speeding up fermentation & producing a high quality silage with zero wastage through mould & minimal losses through Dry Matter (DM) shrinkage. Silostop Max film is an 80 micron fully UV stable silage sheet that is perfect for multi-cut operations where the clamp is being reopened to add more crop in, both films are made from virgin plastic and are fully recyclable.
If switching from standard cling film & black top sheets to Silostop Orange sheets, plastic consumption is reduced by up to 80%, a considerable amount of plastic saved and less to recycle. When applying one sheet, the time to sheet up is halved, a considerable labour saving. Along with less time needed to spend removing waste silage before feedout.
Now, can it be re-used next year?
Unfortunately, it is not recommended to re-use it as is for the next season. You might not get all the benefits from it.
We are only able to guarantee the sheets for one seasons use as any punctures cause the oxygen barrier seal to be broken. However, we have seen several operations using Silostop Max for more than a year by folding back & cutting 5m wide sections off, to save and reuse as wall sheets the following season.
Once this two-year cycle is over, you can send it to your nearest recycling plant or throw it in a bin dedicated for used plastics to give it a third life! Might end up as your garden lounge chair!
Covers and Gravel bags
Our Anti-UV covers are designed to be used in conjunction with Silostop Orange and provide full UV protection as well as physical pest protection, they have a 5-10 year lifespan depending on climate & are fully recyclable also.
Gravel bags are an excellent alternative to tyres as a weighting solution as they eliminate the risk of tyre wire disease. Each bag holds 17kg of smooth 5-10mm pea gravel when filled, allowing water drainage & unlike tyres don’t harbor pests or disease from stagnant water. Gravel bags create a complete oxygen barrier seal around the edges of a clamp & should be used in a 4-5m grid pattern across the clamp with double rows on any joins. They are also very easy to store as can be stacked on a pallet when not in use & have a lifespan of 5-10 years.
In one way or another, all our products can be re-used for ecological purposes.
Using the complete Silostop system of film, protective cover & gravel bags results in a huge saving in terms of plastic usage. Along with the benefits of reduced time sheeting & un-sheeting the clamp, improved silage quality, better fermentation & improved aerobic stability once the clamp is opened.
So, think twice before getting rid of plastic wrap or covers.