Five great reasons to use a one-step silage plastic system

Five great reasons to use a one-step silage plastic system
Five great reasons to use a one-step silage plastic system

1. Reduced Labor
2. Sustainability
3. Save Time
4. Robust Protection
5. Availability

Many of the most progressive and best farms in the country are using a two-step solution to cover their silage. In fact, we believe the two step system is the highest standard of covering. The two-step system includes a thin oxygen barrier underlay, such as our Silostop Orange, the original oxygen barrier silage film. These underlay plastics are typically 1.8-2 mil thick. They suck down into all the nooks and crannies left on the silage pile by the tractors that pack the silage. The oxygen barrier film forms a close seal with the silage, and prevents oxygen from entering the pile or bunker. Next, a 5 mil black-on-white (BW) plastic tarp is pulled over the underlay. The BW plastic is typically made from polyethylene and does not have a polymer added to prevent oxygen ingress. The purpose of the cover is to add physical protection to the pile, as well as protection from ultraviolet light. This will keep the pile cooler and protect the clear plastic underneath.


While the two-step system is a best seller and produces excellent, clean silage, there are several benefits to using a one-step system instead.

Silostop’s One Step System uses a specially developed plastic sheet that looks like regular BW plastic. Instead, however, we have integrated our top-of-the-line high oxygen barrier technology into the 5mil sheet. This means that the sheet of plastic not only prevents oxygen from entering the silage pile, it also provides superb physical protection as well as UV light protection.

Here are the top five reasons why you might consider a One Step system.

1. Reduced Labor

Typically, a producer can use as much help as possible when applying the thin underlayer film. These sheets are very strong, but thin, so they tend to get caught up in the wind. Once the thin underlayer is applied, workers or volunteers need to repeat the process again, this time with the 5 mil black-on-white non oxygen barrier film. Then, once the BW film is applied, weighting such as tires or Gravelbags can be applied.

By using a One Step product such as Silostop Max Plus, labor is greatly reduced. Not only is there just one piece of plastic to open up over the silage pile, it is just the thicker one. This prevents some of the “sail” effect that can occur with the thinner underlay plastic. As global labor costs have gone up, and migrant labor can be hard to find in some areas of the country, this approach allows for a reduced workload.

2. Sustainability

Just the reduced amount of labor alone can make it worth trying a One Step system, but there are many other benefits. The second way that a One Step program can help producers achieve their goals is increased sustainability, but there is a caveat.

Sustainability has become a hot buzzword in agriculture, because agriculture uses a lot of plastic products and because livestock produce methane gas. There are many governmental and commercial programs aimed at reducing plastic usage, increasing recycling options, and achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions. All of these goals are aimed at combatting climate change, which is beginning to affect the majority of farms and producers in the United States.

One way that a One Step system might fit into your sustainability goals is that it reduces overall plastic usage. By eliminating the 2 mil plastic sheet, plastic consumption is immediately reduced by over 25%! This is an important benefit, and one that might be overlooked.

Secondly, some One Step systems are made from materials that can be recycled. Silostop’s Max Plus product is one of those products- there are commercial recycling plants that can turn used Max Plus into pellets for reuse. Not all One Step products are the same, however: be wary of those with reinforced scrim built in, as some scrim uses polymers like Nylon or PET, and are therefore not able to be recycled.


3. Save Time

One thing that producers can always use more of is time. By cutting the number of layers you’re using on your silage pile, you’re giving yourself the gift of more time. There’s always more to do around the farm, so why not take advantage of a system that saves a little of that precious resource?

Lighter labor needs can also translate into a monetary benefit for the producer. If you use a covering company, they will take less time to cover and uncover your pile. If you cover on your own, your crew can spend less time covering. Either way, the number of hours that it normally takes to cover a bunker or pile will be reduced. And as it seems silage pile covering is always happening at night, that’s less overtime that needs to be considered.

4. Robust Protection

Not all plastics are made equal. You wouldn’t use plastic cling film from your kitchen as a painting drop cloth, and you wouldn’t use a thin paint drop cloth to protect your silage. By the same token, not all 5 mil plastics are made to the same standards. Some use recycled plastic, others turn brittle in extreme cold situations. Silostop’s One Step product is stronger than generic BW plastic. The unique properties of our oxygen barrier help our plastic to be more malleable while giving it extreme strength. The plastic stretches- it is never brittle, never cracks. This property is helpful on the pile- hail doesn’t pierce the cover as easily, and boots might leave a mark but rarely go through.

Indeed, Silostop’s products provide Triple Protection, against oxygen, U/V, and physical threats to your silage. By the time silage is ensiled, money and time have been spent on buying seed, planting, growing, and harvesting. It’s time to protect that investment against nature. Weather and animals can ruin your pile and all the hard work it took to create. Using a One Step product is an extra layer of security for your crops.


5. Availability

It’s no secret that the supply chain has not recovered, and inflation is driving up demand everywhere you look. When using a two-step system, producers need to source both the underlay as well as the BW cover. There’s a larger chance that one of those two products won’t be available, or will be substituted with a product of lesser quality.

Using the Silostop One Step system, however, cuts search time in half. Silostop has a warehouse full of Max Plus right now, with more products arriving by the day. You need only order one product, and you’ll receive it promptly. Knowing that you will have your silage sheets when you need them, and at the high level of quality that Silostop is known for, will help to check one more item off your to-do list.

Call Silostop today to order Max Plus, our One Step product. We have sizes 52x164ft, 52x500ft, 65x500ft, and 65x1000ft available for immediate shipping or delivery. 224-830-3798

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