Eddie (father) and (son) Gavin Hartnett own a large silage contracting business in Ballynoe, Conna in East Cork. Last year, using a McHale Fusion balewrapper, they wrapped thousands of bales of grass silage for local beef and dairy farmers using the Film & Film system.
However the number of bales made last year by the Hartnett family was down on the previous year as farmers used less fertiliser (due to high prices) so there was less grass available to conserve.
The good news is that new technology is helping to solve some of these problems. The Film & Film system is an innovative dual wrapping method, which combines the use of SilotitePro1800 balewrap and Baletite netwrap replacement film. This results in better shaped, denser and more compact bales which can better withstand handling.
The Hartnett customers have a choice between netwrap and using the new Film & Film system. “Almost 70% of my customers are now using the Film & Film system and will never go back to netwrap. They were delighted with silage quality over recent years” according to Eddie.
The Hartnett’s are using the Baletite mantle film successfully to replace netwrap on the recommendation from McDonnell Bros in Fermoy who also supply the SilotitePro1800 balewrap. According to Eddie “there is a very good tack on this film.”
Gavin says that “using the Film and Film system -the combination of the Baletite and SilotitePro1800 was definitely the right decision. This is the way forward for anyone doing a big volume of bales and has time constraints. Farmers using the Film & Film system are quite happy that it is good value indeed.”
Feeding out silage is quicker, no netwrap gets mixed up in the silage while recycling is easier as there is no netwrap to be kept separate.
Eddie and Gavin know how important silage quality is for milk production and liveweight gain with cattle. They both agree that using Baletite is more user friendly than netwrap, bales hold their shape better, are denser, easier to move and are far less likely to rip during handling.
Silage quality is definitely better says Gavin especially for higher dry matter (DM) grass. “Silage is sweeter and there is no mould so our customers appreciate this and had no problem switching to the Film & Film system. Farmers with bales left over know there is no problem keeping them for much longer in storage.”
You can check out their silage baling operations at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pFxefsQUJwg
As can be seen from this video clip the Hartnett family who have been making baled silage since 2006 have the best of HP and equipment. Their modern machinery includes four John Deere tractors, two 10 foot John Deere mowers (front & back) two Krone rakes and two Lely tedders.
Eddie and Gavin Hartnett also spread lime for local dairy and beef farmers using two ten tonne Bredal K65 machines. In addition they also provides a hedge cutting service for local farmers and other customers using a TWOSE 520 hedge trimmer.