Why are you going to Iceland I was asked? They don’t have any farms? Actually, there are around 500 dairy farms there plus a lot of Beef and Sheep units as well as a reasonable amount of crops grown in the South.
2020 saw our first Silostop silage pile there. With the extreme wind they experience there looking after the grass once it has been ensiled is by far the most important part of the process.
2021 we established our first Distributor with Grétar Hrafn Hardarson, who after a very successful career as a Vet set up his business selling Inoculant, Cubicle Slats and now Silostop films and covers.
We were unable to travel there for his first season to give him our usual distributor training one to one so we had to resort to Zoom to do it. This trip was to visit some of the farms he has using our products and to talk to others who are interested. In Iceland there are very few Silage Bunkers, most silage is made in long narrow piles on either hard standing or more frequently stone. The key as always it to get the crop really well consolidated which with some of these piles it not easy if the sides are too steep.
Although as you can see on this picture there is no waste at all on this pile with very steep sides.
Getting the film on straight away and weighed down really well is then next. The weather in Iceland can turn in minutes so the lovely blue skies will turn to tremendous downpours before you know it so ensuring the crop is covered immediately will stop any harm.
Weight, weight and more weight. You can see from the pictures that stone is often used to hold down the edge of the film before the Nets are added, then common practice is to add bales along the edges to ensure the wind does not get under it. Car tyres and even truck tyres will just blow off as they are not heavy enough to cope with the conditions. Most of the bales have the outer layer shredded by the constant wind.
If the crop is at the right DM going in, consolidated well and thoroughly protected then some really good silage can be made. Having these narrow faces means that not too much crop is exposed for too long to the elements which again help with keeping the crop fresh.
Even under the layer of snow we saw some really good silage that smelt fantastic and analysed well. The cows were milking very well from it and the farmers loved the fact there was no waste to dispose of and they could feed the whole crop. No problems with shrinkage either as the Oxygen Barrier did its job.
No matter what the conditions, heat, cold or biting winds Silostop can work.