Tyres, secure covers, rubber mats – what do you use when covering your silage pit?
As the country enjoys a sustained period of good weather silage season is upon us and farmers are faced with this very question; even though it’s a question many farmers would prefer not to think about. However, there are more and more options becoming available to them in recent years.
Tyres are undeniably the most popular choice for covering pits in Ireland. They’ve been used for generations and offer a ready-made method of weighing down plastic covers. However, what’s handy isn’t always best.
As many farmers will attest, the traditional polythene and tyre method isn’t flawless. Rips and tears are hard to avoid, it’s messy, the tyres fill up with water and, in general, they’re just hard to handle. It’s no wonder nobody looks forward to covering the pit!
From a consequence point-of-view, oxygen can seep in through the rips and tears which can then result in not only spoilage of the silage but also a loss of precious feed and money.
In a climate where farmers are faced with ever-tightening margins, this is a problem they could do without, giving rise to several manufacturers designing alternative, more durable covering systems.
New and improved silage pit bag
The latest product available in the market is a new and improved silage pit bag from EASYFIX. This is a second-generation product from EASYFIX and has seen them make significant improvements to the design and performance of the bags.
The bags, which are a striking khaki green colour, have a corrugated style, with each ‘wave’ of the corrugation a pocket filled with pea gravel stone. The small pieces of stone are washed prior to filling which ensures that it is free from any toxic residue.
The bags are now 33% bigger too, with each individual bag covering a 6x4ft area and weighing a reasonable 30kg, providing excellent weight distribution so that it stays firmly in place on the pit, yet is still easy to manoeuvre. Crucially, the bag material has also been improved.
The new bags are made from 100% woven virgin polypropylene as opposed to recycled polypropylene which some companies use, meaning the material is much stronger and will stand up to the elements any season throws at it.
Benefits for the farmer
These numerous design and performance enhancements greatly improve the functionality of the EASYFIX silage pit bags. Each bag comes with four cut-out handles which make the bags easy to transport and cover the pit with.
It also means that, as and when needed, they can be removed quickly and stacked neatly on top of each other on a pallet. The bags’ corrugated design gives an even distribution of weight so they won’t fall or blow off pits – especially pits that are in exposed areas.
Notably, the bags are also UV stable. The polypropylene material used in the bags incorporates an ultra-violet stabiliser which blocks out harmful rays from the sun helping to protect the quality of the feed in the pit.
When compared directly with tyres, EASYFIX’s silage pit bags perform brilliantly. As mentioned previously, the upgraded bags cover 33% more surface area and offer better distribution of weight while enjoying a much lower carbon footprint than tyres too.
This is a hugely important consideration given the on-going environmental directives farmers are tasked with.
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When can I expect payback?
Again, the size and weight distribution of the bags are key factors. Both of these elements help to eliminate air pockets developing in the pit which can give rise to waste and spoilage.
Consider a typical 30x50ft silage pit with six inches of waste or spoilage from the top per year.
Not only is it a loss of valuable winter feed but in monetary terms, it could be valued in the region of €1,250.
However, if the farmer chose EASYFIX silage pit bags instead of tyres and a plastic cover approach they could save themselves hard-earned money. It would take 70 EASYFIX silage pit bags to cover the same pit and at €22.75 per bag it would give a total cost of €1,592.50 (+ VAT).
Therefore, farmers can achieve payback in less than 18 months, re-use the bags for years to come and, most importantly, eliminate spoilage.
EASYFIX silage pit bags offer a fantastic alternative to the traditional tyre and plastic pit covering option.
From their ease of use and durability to their superior environmental and financial benefits, EASYFIX’s silage pit bags represent a truly progressive and reliable option for covering silage pits.
In a time of real uncertainty, it is vital that farmers maximise their resources and revenue – EASYFIX’s silage pit bags can help do just that.
Fancy winning a pallet of EASYFIX silage pit bags worth €1500? Head over to @silage_spec on Instagram to enter!