When ordering sheets for this year’s silage it is important to think ahead, global raw material shortages could result in delayed availability – don’t leave it to the last minute! Along with pricing uncertainty & inflation, you are likely to get a better deal if you think ahead.
Review your needs for the year, how did the sheets fit last season? Did you over/under order, have you accounted for a bumper grass crop like last year? Will the sheet fit if the clamp is over full? Silostop sheets are available in widths of 8-28m and standard lengths of 35m & 50m, then going up to 150m & 300m.
Are the sheets that will best fit your clamp a standard stocked size? It may take up to 6 weeks to get non-standard sizes into stock. It is always better to get the closest size sheet to match your clamp, and this means minimal joins/overlaps. If you need to overlap the sheet ensure an additional 1m for each join is accounted for, to ensure oxygen cannot get in-between the sheets.
Have you considered an oxygen barrier wall film? Not only does this protect your walls, but it will also ensure a full oxygen barrier seal around the entire clamp & prevent spoilage in the hardest to compact clamp area – the shoulder. Ideally there should be 1m beneath the silage at the bottom of the clamp, and another 1m folded in on top of the silage before the top sheet is secured. Wall film widths are 4m, 5m, 6m & 7m and come in lengths of 50m.
It is also important to have a look at your protective netting, as any holes from pests / machinery are easy targets to damage the sheet and allow air into the crop underneath. Do the nets you have currently do a good job, are they too big and heavy, therefore difficult to move back once the face is opened? It might be easier to get twice as many smaller nets to take off and store away as you eat through the face, rather than fold back a bigger, heavier one.
The same goes for weighting, the sheet & nets need to be held in place and not blow off the clamp in adverse weather conditions. Gravel bags provide an excellent oxygen barrier seal around the perimeter of the clamp, each bag has a fill line on and when filled to this line will weigh 17kg. By now over filling it allows the bag to remain flexible, and follows the contours of the silage below, unlike a tyre which is rigid and allows air to pass through the gaps.
Discuss your sheeting requirements now with your Silostop distributor to ensure you aren’t caught out.