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Better Quality & More Cost Effective Silage for Tirlán Milk Producer

Better Quality & More Cost Effective Silage for Tirlán Milk Producer

Stephen Miley, along with his wife Maeve and his parents Rosaleen and Myles, operate a 190 -dairy cow herd near Dunlavin in Co. Wicklow. “My brother Paul is also a big help on the farm. We have been increasing herd size in recent years and also do a calf to beef enterprise.” Stephen said.

“We keep a mixture of MountBeliarde and Fleckvich on the farm. The MountBeliarde is the third most popular French dairy cow and renowned for their milk as traditionally the milk is processed into Emmental and Gruyère cheese. The Fleckvieh is a dual purpose breed suitable for both milk and meat production and the most popular breed in Austria. It originated in Central Europe from cross-breeding local stock with Simmental cattle imported from Switzerland.

We keep all calves on the farm, all the replacement heifer calves and beef animals. I’m working off a small milking platform. So, my grazing has to be spot on.

“Last year, my cows averaged 7,000L/cow. Butterfat was 4.2% and milk proteins at 3.5%.We also pasteurise milk for their own use in the family homes. We operate a split calving; 30% autumn and 70% spring-calving. My brother Paul works with me and our parents Rosaleen and Myles also help out on the farm. My son Eoin is really good with the young stock as is Donnacha, Paul’s son.”

The Miley family use a Keenan mixer wagon to feed their cows and cattle. The TMR mix includes top quality grass silage made from Red clover, home grown forage maize, fodder beet, brewer’s grains and straw. According to Stephen “we make 250 acres of silage including 40 acres from forage maize- the DMD rages from 75 to 84 so it is first class. They also use Silo-King silage additive to improve preservation and quality. This season two forage wagons were used to bring in the silage and “we were very happy with the speed of operation” said Paul.

A poor-quality sheet may cause up to 10% loss of quality on your average silage clamp. The success of silage forage will be determined by the seal, resistance, and flexibility of the silage sheet chosen – which is why choosing a high-quality silage sheets is so important. The average amount of waste on a poorly sealed clamp can be up to 8cm on the top and sides, with more than this on the shoulders. This means that the clamp silage wasted in storage could cost up to €4.80m2. On a 16mx50m clamp, this could add up to €3,840 in losses.

According to Stephen Miley “we have been using a Visqueen Agri-S silage cover with a Clingseal film underneath and along the sides for the last five years and both of these are purchased from Quinns of Baltinglass. Clingseal, is a flexible vacuum sheet used directly beneath a traditional, heavier silage sheets. It is thinner and therefore more flexible, allowing it to cling more closely to the contours of the clamp surface and tuck-in more at the sides. This helps eliminate air pockets and provides a close fitting barrier to significantly reduce top and shoulder losses from aerobic spoilage. Paul Miley says “silage is becoming ever more expensive to make so we cannot afford any significant loses in storage. We  started off using the Clingseal film cover on one clamp and were so impressed with the minimal wastage during storage that we have been using it ever since on all our grass and maize silage clamps.”

In addition, because it provides a better air seal, Visqueen Clingseal also facilitates a faster, more efficient fermentation process – delivering enhanced clamp silage quality. It is also easy to apply, and suitable for a variety of ensiled crops, including grass, maize, wholecrop and other moist feeds.

The long life durable and tough Visqueen silage covers also helps to prevent punctures, tears and splits occurring during the clamp sheeting process. On the Miley farm the silage cover is weighed down and has a green secure silage cover net to protect the clamp from bird, rodents and wildlife damage. So investing in a top quality Visqueen silage cover and Clingseal film is a good investment indeed.

Stephen Miley, his son Eoin, brother Paul & his son Donnacha pictured beside 2024 clamps of silage covered using a Visqueen Agri-S silage cover on top with a Clingseal film underneath to minimise wastage during winter storage.
Stephen Miley, his son Eoin, brother Paul & his son Donnacha pictured beside 2024 clamps of silage covered using a Visqueen Agri-S silage cover on top with a Clingseal film underneath to minimise wastage during winter storage.

 

 

 

Aurivo Coop Milk Supplier Prefers McAree V-Mac Feed Silos

Aurivo Coop Milk Supplier Prefers McAree V-Mac Feed Silos

Miriam Gunn is a farm ambassador with the National Dairy Council’s (NDC’s) Grass Roots Movement. Miriam and her husband Michael operates one of the 17,500 family-run dairy farms in Ireland, producing liquid milk and milk used to manufacture Kerrygold butter, cheese and other dairy products. Based at Carrowglogher, near Strokestown in Co. Roscommon, the farm is home to three generations of farmers: her father-in-law, herself, Michael, and their four children Olivia, Kieran, Diarmuid and Aidan.

Miriam and Michael live on farm with his parents Kevin and Eileen-the farm has been in the family for four generations. Michaels father Kevin started milking way back with only 3 Shorthorn cows. They now milk 180 pedigree Holstein Friesian cows in their pedigree Slievebawn Herd. Average yield is around 8,000 litres at 4.13 % butterfat and 3.48 % protein. The focus is on making the most of the grass available and top quality clamp silage to feed their hungry cows and optimise milk production from home grown forage. Both Miriam and Michael are active in the IHFA West Midlands club – Miriam was a former PRO officer.

The cows are milked in a modern BouMatic 32-point internal rotary parlour the first of its kind in southern Ireland. This was purchased from ElectroMech Agri a family run business based in Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone– exclusive dealers for Boumatic across Ireland & Scotland. Cows are fed to yield in the parlour and this averages 1.5 tonnes/cow pa. To ensure best value they purchase their animal feed from Aurivo Coop through a purchasing group.

The dairy ration is stored in a 20 tonne McAree V-Mac split bin manufactured in Co. Monaghan and augured from there to the parlour. The auger was supplied & installed by Brendan Donnelly from Stradone in Co. Cavan. Kevin Gunn purchased the first McAree V-Mac silo -a 10 feed bin over 20 years ago. Since then he has also purchased three further silos –an 8 tonne, a 10 tonne silo and the 20 tonne V-Mac split bin in 2018.

One of the 10 tonne silos was sold to a neighbour and is still in use. The 20 tonne split bin silo was purchased due to the increase in herd size. They also get a discount taking bigger bulk deliveries from Aurivo Coop. The spit bin allows them to store two different rations say a higher and a lower protein dairy nut in the spring, a high or a medium energy diet or say a dry cow ration. If they are using only one dairy ration it means that they can empty out one side and fill it up with fresh feed and of course they never run out of feed as the other side is still in use. The other two feed silos are used to store calf and weanling diets.

According to Michael Gunn the reasons “we prefer the McAree silos is due to their trouble free and long life. No meal sticks in the bin and because the bottom is closed no dampness gets into the feed and auger. We always got a great service from McAree Engineering.”

According to V-Mac Sales Manager, Fergal Sherry, McAree Engineering have developed a reputation for Quality, Value, and Customer Service over the past 75 years. He says that over 15,000+ V-Mac Silos have been installed to date across Britain and Ireland. “Every single silo is custom built to our customer’s specific requirements and we have the widest range on the market. We use a unique rolled body strip of MagiZinc® in our V-Mac silo body construction which ensures a smooth inside wall helping excellent product flow and gives the feed silo super-strength construction.”

The Gunn family has won many awards over the years. They were finalists in the Origin Green Farmer Award and Aurivo Milk Supplier of the year both for 2018. They were also NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards finalists in 2019.

The Gunns make the best use of modern technology to save time and use the latest animal data available. Heat-detection collars have been a great addition to the farm says Miriam and instead of spending time watching the cows to see when they’re coming in heat, Miriam simply gets an email to alert her.

“Often, we wouldn’t even have seen any sign that a cow is in heat, but the collars have picked it up and alerted us to it. It’s hugely time-saving as well as making everything more efficient. “I have the computer in the dairy linked up to the computer in the house so I can manage everything from there,” says Miriam.

Split calving ensures that Miriam and Michael have time off with the family over Christmas. “Calving starts the last week in October and runs until the first week in December. We start calving again in mid-January and keep going until end of April.” We use sexed semen on our autumn calving heifers. The calves from cows and heifers that calve from April on go for beef. We use a Longhorn beef bull and those calves are sold on contract to Buitelaar Group who have a good market for these quality calves.”

Buitelaar source their calves from approved and monitored dairy farms, assessed on their standards of early-stage calf rearing, use of genetics, health recording and calf housing choices.

Originally a beef farmer from North Longford, Miriam moved to her husbands’ farm when she got married in 2008. Miriam is passionate about farming in a sustainable way, and during 2023 she completed the Green cert at Mountbellew Ag College-indeed she was student of the year.

On their own farm she can point towards environmentally sustainable solutions such as low-emission slurry spreading and regular soil sampling and analysis to manage fertiliser use which positively affects greenhouse gas emissions, water quality and saves the farm money as well. New initiatives such as giving all animals a carbon hoof print, which is used in breeding programmes allow for the birth of a more emissions-efficient animal, and the space for nature scheme which shows areas on the farm designated for nature.

According to Miriam “milk production is a big commitment, but we are all involved, including the kids. They love it, which is probably one of the reasons they have an appreciation for dairy farming. There are no decisions made on our farm here that don’t consider the environmental impact as a priority. Sustainability is dairy’s future, and milk producers are serious about it.”

Miriam is a founding member of Aurivo’ s women’s discussion group and hopes transparency and publicity around women in agriculture, and farming in general will inspire the next generation

Fergal Sherry , Sales Manager, McAree Engineering with proud mother Miriam Gunn , her son Kieran, father in law Kevin and husband Michael.
Photo Brian Farrell

Minister Heather Humphreys Visits McAree Engineering to Review Innovative Farm Safety Technology

Minister Heather Humphreys Visits McAree Engineering to Review Innovative Farm Safety Technology

Minister Heather Humphreys Visits McAree Engineering to Review Innovative Farm Safety Technology

Minister Heather Humphreys, Minister for Social Protection, visited McAree Engineering in Ballinode, Co. Monaghan on May 20, to review the latest advancements in farm safety technology. The visit highlighted the installation of Lvlogics’ innovative SiloSpi on McAree Engineering’s V-Mac Silos.

Based in Co. Meath, Lvlogics has developed the SiloSpi, a cutting-edge digital silo -multi award winning, monitoring system. This system automatically informs farmers and feed mills about the quantity of animal feed remaining in silos, eliminating the need for farmers to climb to the top of silos to check levels—a hazardous practice responsible for numerous accidents over the years.

With this real-time data, feed mills can optimize their delivery schedules, reducing travel miles and delivery costs along with the associated carbon footprint. Additionally, farmers benefit from the assurance that they will not run out of essential feed supplies, enhancing animal husbandry practices.

Barry Finnegan, Managing Director of Lvlogics, explained, “We use a patented laser monitoring system that constantly records the feed level within a silo with an accuracy of +/- 5%. This information is sent to a smartphone app, allowing farmers and feed mills to know the silo’s contents at anytime, anywhere. We have a significant number of systems  installed across Europe, and our feed mill customers, including Kiernan Milling, Longford, Roches Mills, Limerick, *Dairygold Co-op, Cork .ForFarmers, NWF and many others in Britain , have seen significant cost savings through the improved logistics planning  based on the  information we provide.”

Fergal Sherry, V-Mac Silo Sales Manager, added, “We have been collaborating with Lvlogics for several years, and SiloSpi is the best solution for silo monitoring we’ve encountered. It is a cost-efficient and accurate system for monitoring silo contents. Its self-cleaning mechanism ensures the laser probe remains clean, maintaining accuracy.”

During the visit on Monday afternoon, Minister Humphreys stated, “I’m delighted to see two local Irish agribusiness firms come together to introduce technology that not only makes farms and feed mills more sustainable but also significantly enhances farm safety. Farming can be dangerous on many levels, and innovations like this that improve safety are very welcome. Barry and Vincent are to be commended for making this happen.”

Vincent McAree, Operations Director at McAree Engineering, added, “We have been manufacturing our V-Mac Silos for nearly 60 years, and they are a vital part of farm equipment in terms of biosecurity. Now, with the addition of SiloSpi, we are making our V-Mac Silos smart.”

About Lvlogics

Lvlogics is a pioneering company based in Co. Meath, specializing in digital silo monitoring solutions. Their flagship product, SiloSpi, uses advanced laser technology to provide real-time data on silo contents, significantly improving farm safety and operational efficiency.

Multiple awards include among others, the National Dairy Innovation Awards – Tech Award, Best Start-up and Overall Winner 2021, Enterprise Ireland’s Agri-Technology Award 2022 and most recently, 2024 RDS Spring Awards – Sustainable Rural Start-Up Award Winner.

About McAree Engineering

McAree Engineering is one of Ireland’s leading outsource sheet metal fabrication companies. With a workforce of 180 staff across three factories in North Monaghan, they support some of Ireland’s leading Original Equipment Manufacturers in the quarrying & screening, materials handling, and agri machinery sectors. In addition, they design and manufacture the V-Mac Silo range of bulk storage and handling equipment.

*Dairygold Coop now have over 100 milk suppliers  who have installed the SiloSpi feed monitoring system thereby  enabling their Coop to  deliver essential  feed supplies  in a timely and most cost effective manner.

For more information, please contact:

Barry Finnegan, Lvlogics, Tel: 089 2426825

Peter Richardson, McAree Engineering, Tel: 087 2584584

 

McAree Engineering
Pictured at McAree Engineering during the visit of Minister Heather Humphreys were L2R: Claire and Vincent McAree, Ballinode, Co. Monaghan with Minister Heather Humphreys, Barry Finnegan, Lvlogics Ltd, Oldcastle, Co. Meath and Rónán Mac an tSaoir, Teagasc Agricultural College, Ballyhaise

Armagh Milk Producer Has More & Better Quality Silage

Armagh Milk Producer Has More & Better Quality Silage

Evan Allen and his father John farm in partnership near Richhill in Co. Armagh. They keep a high yielding pedigree herd of Holstein Friesian and supply milk to Leprino Foods Ltd. (formerly Glanbia Cheese) in Magheralin.

The Allen herd averages a very respectable 11,500-12,000 litres pa at 4.38% butterfat and 3.38% protein.

Cows are fed a TMR diet using a Keenan mixer wagon. The nutritious diet includes a blend supplied by Thompsons Feeds, grass and maize silage plus straw.

The silage quality is top class as they make three cuts of grass silage each year from 150 acres of land and 50 acres of forage maize.

“We have been using Visqueen silage sheets and Clingseal film cover on our silage clamps for many years and are delighted with the results. Clingseal is a flexible vacuum sheet that is used directly beneath traditional, heavier silage sheets such as Visqueen Agri-S. It is thinner and therefore more flexible, allowing it to cling more closely to the contours of the clamp surface and tuck-in more at the sides.

This helps eliminate air pockets and provides a close fitting barrier to significantly reduce top and shoulder losses from aerobic spoilage.

The silage sheet is weighed down with tyres and the Clingseal film cover adheres firmly to the silage sheet and they both give the silage great protection.” According to Evan silage is expensive to make so we minimise any waste during storage by using Clingseal film purchased from the Fane Valley Armagh stores on their silage pits.

According to Mark Morrison, Manager of the Fane Valley store in Armagh “over the last decade oxygen impermeable Clingseal film sheeting has been shown to be very effective on numerous farms in minimising forage waste. It sucks down onto the surface of the silage, giving a better seal. It should be used to line the walls and cover the top.”

Mark advises customers making silage to “check the sheeting periodically for holes caused by crows etc and seal with suitable tape. Air infiltration during silage storage as a result of poor compaction and sealing can increase DM losses by as much as 8%.”

According to silage expert Dr. Dave Davies from the Silage Solutions consultancy in Wales “good fermentation and aerobic stability depend on preventing oxygen from entering the pit.

However if the silage clamp is not sealed properly, losses can amount to 25-30%.” He advises farmers to “cover the entire wall, from top to bottom, and allow for at least two metres of excess sheet at the top so it overlaps with the Clingseal film barrier and top sheet.”

Dr. Davies says “make sure there is at least half a metre of extra silage sheet at the front of the clamp and weigh it down well around the edge. Sealing the ramp properly will result in at least 5% more silage.”

Photo caption: . Pictured discussing the improved silage quality and reduced storage losses using the Clingseal Visqueen silage film cover are Evan Allen, Leprino Foods milk supplier, Richhill, Co. Armagh and Mark Morrison, Manager, Fane Valley Stores, Armagh.

Monaghan Firm Helps the Wicklow Wolf

Monaghan Firm Helps the Wicklow Wolf

Wicklow Wolf brewery was established in 2014 by two friends Quincey Fennelly and Simon Lynch in the back of a small, old bakery in Bray, Co. Wicklow. In 2019 they invested in a new state of the art brewery in Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow. Their mission is to brew exceptional beers without compromise and with true passion. Independently brewed, locally rooted and at one with nature, they brew a wide range of beers in a sustainable way.

The Master Brewer and Production Manager is John Allen from Roscommon. “John has a very impressive pedigree in brewing in both Australia and Britain” says Managing Director, Quincey Fennelly. According to John “over the last nine years Wicklow Wolf have brewed over 120 speciality craft beers”.

The beverage core range includes pale ales, IPAs, red ale, Stout, lager, a tropical sour and a non-alcoholic hoppy ale. They also have a number of small batch, limited edition releases that they brew under their Endangered Species range, as well as collaborations and a small batch experimental series that champions Wicklow called The Locavore Project.

Wicklow Wolf uses only electricity from 100% renewable sources. Beer is brewed in a custom built, state of the art brewery with a four vessel Braukon Brewhouse which has a heat recovery system saving the same energy every year as 1.7 m cups of tea.

In 2022 they took environmental sustainability one step further by the installation of over 120Kw of solar panels, covering the entire brewery roof. Wicklow Wolf became one of the first solar panel powered craft breweries in Ireland.

Wicklow Wolf are constantly implementing new processes to reduce their Carbon Footprint and continue to improve on their sustainability journey. Spent ingredients (Hops, Yeast, and Grain) go back as feed for a local farm with the remainder sent to Anaerobic Digestion plant to produce green gas.

Since it opened in 2019, the brewery has a state of the art system to reduce water usage across production. To date Wicklow Wolf have also planted over 5,000 native Irish trees. Wicklow Wolf employs almost 30 people and brews over 1.5 m litres of beer pa and aside from a fast growing Irish market their popular craft are exported to Denmark, Finland, France, Holland, Italy and Switzerland.

Wicklow Wolf recently installed a 40 tonne, custom painted enclosed V-Mac grain silo to store Planet malting barley and other varieties grown by Cork farmers. This silo was supplied by McAree Engineering Ltd, Ballinode, Co. Monaghan. Every V-Mac silo is custom made and designed to customer specifications. The rolled body construction ensures a smooth inside wall helping excellent product flow, with super-strength and a long life. Over the last 75 years McAree have an excellent reputation for quality, value, and customer service.

Previously barley was supplied in plastic sacks so the new silo will replace seven tonnes of plastic pa from the production cycle as grain was delivered to the brewery in plastic sacks. It will also cut down on delivery of malt to the site. So this will improve environmental sustainability for the future.

A by-product of the brewery is brewer’s grains which is a valuable animal feed and is supplied to a local farmer Pat Cooke who lives nearby at Hilltop farm. Pat uses around10 t a week to feed his valuable suckler herd of pedigree Salers cattle. His large herd of 250 cattle are fed on a diet of barley, brewer’s grains, silage and of course grass during the grazing season.

His hungry cattle just love the smell and taste of the brewer’s grains, wolf it down and indeed they are thriving on this nutritious diet. The Salers breed of cattle originate in the Southern half of the Massif Central in the Auvergne region of South Central France. It has a rough and variable climate, and though higher, 2000-6000 ft., is very similar to the Wicklow hills.

This breed is considered to be one of the oldest and most genetically pure of all European breeds. Salers are generally horned and dark red, with a good hair coat which becomes thick and curly in winter giving hardiness and adaptability to cold and heat. Suckler cow costs are minimised though the breeds stress free calving, longevity, foraging ability, winter hardiness and minimal feet, eye and
udder problems.

How to Minimise Any Quality Problems with Baled Silage

How to Minimise Any Quality Problems with Baled Silage

One not infrequent problem encountered on livestock farms is of the balewrap film splitting after wrapping the bale. This can occur weeks and even months after the wrapping was done. This is most likely to occur with heavy bales of low DM silage made during broken weather conditions. Unless these bales have been carefully wrapped with a quality balewrap film they are quite likely to burst after handling, transport, stacking or during storage.

Many silage contractors and farmers immediately blame the film, thinking inferior quality is to blame for the splitting and sometimes balewrap quality can be the problem.  The high tensile strength and tear resistance of the silage film is important as is puncture and tear resistance. Film elasticity, tack or cling capacity are also important as is the UV light inhibitor used to protect film from degradation during storage.

A quality brand such as Silotite Pro offers superior strength, puncture resistance, elasticity, UV stability and a double sided cling. Silotite is manufactured using the latest 7 and 9-layer patented extrusion technology. With Pro film technology the individual film layers are compacted together through heating, stretching and conditioning. Other brands usually have only three layers of film so they cannot offer the same level of protection for your valuable silage crop

However, the reason the film has split can also due to there being insufficient film cover in places on the bale (see attached photo). This is often difficult to accept, as many silage contractors believe they are applying enough turns to the bale to achieve full bale cover, with four film layers and a minimum 50% over-lap of the film layers. However many silage contractors employ young and inexperienced operators who may not carefully follow the machinery manufacturers guidelines.

Before baling, it is always a good idea to lift and spread the grass with a tedder or a rake. Ensure the swath is the same height and depth across the full width when entering the mouth of the baler – this ensures production of firm and well-shaped bales. This results in heavier but fewer bales per acre, thereby reducing costs. In addition, well-shaped bales are easier to wrap properly and to handle without causing damage.

It is very important to avoid pick-up tines disturbing the soil, otherwise crude ash can cause contamination in the bale. This can result in the increased presence of harmful organisms which can have potential health implications for livestock consuming this material. If slurry is not incorporated into the soil ideally using a shallow disc injector there is a risk of risk contamination with harmful bacteria.

Machinery Manufacturers Balewrapping Guidelines

All bale wrapper manufacturers recommend the following guidelines: 1. Count the number of turns required to completely cover the bale 2.   Add one extra turn (to compensate for the narrowing of the film from the start of the cycle, when the film is held in      the cut and catch mechanism) 3.  Multiply this number by 2 for 4 film layers or by 3 for 6 film layers.

Note that the ‘extra’ turn is added onto the first number, when the bale is covered the first time and not at the end of the calculation. If the bale diameter is slightly more than 1.2m, the diameter becomes greater, which affects the accuracy of the 50% over-lap target. In this instance, more turns will be required to ensure full and complete coverage of the bale. Please note, it takes half a turn (two sides of the bale) for the balewrap film to open up to its full width on the bale.

When wrapping big square bales, irrespective of crop type, the bale should be wrapped as if applying 6 film layers.  Unlike a round bale, which maintains the same position on the balewrapper as it rotates and provides a uniform shape for the film to be applied to, the position of a square bale is constantly changing as it turns on the balewrapper. Because of this, the bale should be wrapped as if applying 6 film layers to the bale – this is the only way to ensure there are four layers of the balewrap everywhere on the bale.

Potential Pre-Stretch Unit (PSU) Problems on the Bale Wrapper

The PSU on the bale wrapper is calibrated, through the gears, to stretch the film between the paired rollers by 70%. This is to ensure the film width over-laps by the required 50% over-lap.  However, there is the possibility that the film will also stretch between the rollers and the bale, when the film will ‘neck-down’ more than it should, which will affect the % over-lap of each film layer application to the bale.

This can easily be checked by measuring the width of the last film application on the end of the bale. The correct film ‘neck down’ for 750mm wide film neck-down should be 580-600mm. (see graphics as show by Tama) If secondary stretch occurs, it will increase film ‘neck-down’ and reduce the amount of over-lap between each successive film layer, creating areas on the bale with less than the required number of layers.

If the PSU rollers on the wrapper are dirty or sticky, dirt and crop debris can easily become stuck to the rollers, causing damage to the film as it passes over them. It is not necessary for the film to have been punctured to cause it to break, often the smallest piece of dirt or debris can create a weakness in the film as it is being stretched that will cause it to fail.(see photo as per Tama)

Areas of the bale with less than the minimum required are difficult to see on black bales. The part of the bale with fewer film layers will eventually split either through weathering or as the bale settles in the stack.  Sometimes the wrapping is so in-correct that only a single layer covers the bale in some places. This may be due on occasions to inexperienced operators not following the manufacturers advice on Balewrapping.

If the PSU rollers are sticky with film tack residue, the film will begin to stick to the rollers, causing ‘secondary-stretch’, which will reduce the film width being applied to the bale.  So to avoid this problem, PSU rollers should be cleaned regularly, by rubbing vigorously with a cloth soaked in a solvent based cleaner. If the PSU has rubber coated rollers, it may be necessary to clean the surface then rub down with a hard wire brush, to create a grip on the rollers.

New Developments in Balewrapping

The relatively new Film & Film (F&F) system is an innovative dual wrapping method, which combines the use of SilotitePro balewrap and Baletite netwrap replacement film. The bale is effectively cross wrapped so the overall film protection is much improved. Please check out video at https://www.silotite.com/film-and-film-wrapping/

This results in better shaped and more compact bales which can better withstand handling and have a longer storage life. Using baler film instead of netwrap the F&F wrapping system helps to reduce silage losses virtually eliminating mould growth and preventing silage becoming enmeshed during feed out.

Silotite Celebrating 40 years of Success in Balewrapping

Silotite Celebrating 40 years of Success in Balewrapping

Berry Global’s Silotite® brand is marking four decades of pioneering advancements in agricultural bale wrapping, highlighting its legacy of innovation, reliability, and steadfast commitment to continuous product development for the agricultural sector.

The introduction of Silotite to the British & Irish market helped revolutionise bale wrapping, paving the way for significant investments in state-of-the-art multi-layer and advanced extrusion technologies. These advancements at Berry’s facilities in Britain and Belgium, represent a commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in bale wrap technology. The recent unveiling of Berry’s SilotitePro 1800 Sustane film, featuring a lighter weight and incorporating 25% post-consumer recycled content, embodies a leap forward in sustainable agri films.

Other notable introductions like Baletite®, SilotitePro, and innovations in sleeve packaging reflect Berry’s responsiveness to the evolving needs of the agri industry and demonstrates their proactive approach to improving silage protection solutions that aim to support farmers and contractors in their environmental responsibilities.

The brand’s dedication to continuous and collaborative innovation is at the heart of Silotite’s success. By engaging directly with the farming community and working closely with key research establishments to undertake commercial scale trials, Berry ensures that its product developments are both scientifically grounded and closely aligned with the sector’s needs.

Reflecting on the brand’s significant influence, Lloyd Dawson, Sales Director for UK, Ireland, Pacific, and Asia at Silotite said “We remain committed to providing farmers with cutting-edge solutions that enhance efficiency, promote sustainability, and contribute to their success.”

Today, Silotite’s market leading range of balewrap films continue to be used worldwide to preserve a variety of winter forages including grass, maize, sugar beet pulp, clovers, alfalfa, and legumes, protecting these vital foodstuffs from climatic conditions.

Berry Global is a leading plastic recycler and converter in Europe, with the scope and expertise to recycle up to 100,000 tonnes of plastic waste each year. The reprocessing capabilities include LDPE, LLDPE & HDPE – specialising in pre-consumer and post-consumer polythene from commercial, industrial, retail and agricultural sources.

Every tonne of polythene recycled saves 1.8 tonnes of crude oil, reduces energy usage by two thirds, entails 90% less water and cuts Sulphur dioxide emissions by 33%. Useful products manufactured from recycled balewrap include agricultural slats, farm fencing, garden furniture etc.

Bonniconlon Farm Open Day Support for Embrace FARM

Taking place on Easter Saturday the farm open day boasts a jam-packed programme of family friendly games and activities. The event marks the beginning of the Spring Season, and everyone is welcome to come along. Proceeds from the day will be given to Embrace FARM, supporting farm families following serious injury and sudden death.

Bonniconlon Farm Open Day
Photo of some event volunteers (Rachael Mulhern – behind the scenes, Melissa Walsh, Geraldine Judge – event photographer, Pat Gallagher – patron, Patrick Walsh, Mark Greaney – rare breed specialist, Patrick Gallagher – traffic manager, Fiona Walsh – kids entertainment, Michael Ginley – raffle coordinator

Following the success of the inaugural Farm Open Day at Bonniconlon last year, the organisers Patrick and Melissa Walsh were approached to host the event again this Easter.
Speaking about the event, Patrick Walsh said: ‘We invite families to come along again this year to meet up, have some fun and continue to raise awareness of the importance of farm and road safety in our everyday lives.’

Melissa added: “In a rural community like Bonniconlon and North Mayo, South Sligo, we know that farming families have to deal with day-today farm safety and all sorts of other pressures facing this sector. We invite families to come along to meet others in the community and raise awareness of these, as well as enjoy a great day for all the family. Farming really is a family affair, and we are hoping young and old can take a break together and enjoy the occasion while helping our chosen charity.”

Bonniconlon Farm Open Day
Photo of Patrick and Melissa Walsh with the judges at Corrandulla Show 2023

Embrace FARM, the network that supports farm families following a sudden death or serious injury has been chosen as charity partner for the event again this year. ‘We are delighted to be part of this popular family orientated event again this year, we appreciate the huge effort the Walsh Family and their great support committee do in organising this event, so we would encourage everyone to please support their hard work for what is set to be a very exciting time again this year’, commented Embrace FARM’s General Manager, Norma Rohan.

The ’World’s Cutest Sheep’ Bonniconlon Valais Blacknose Flock will be a key feature of the Open Farm Day. Melissa Walsh excitedly informs us that ‘This year’s open day will offer the chance for children to get up close and personal with our Valais Blacknose sheep by leading them into the show ring to take part in our young handlers’ competitions.

There will be categories for Under 8, Under 12 and Under 16 on the day with everybody welcome to take part, no previous experience required! Only the well-handled Valais Blacknose flock will be used for the Junior Handler event. For the other Valais enthusiasts attending on the day, we will have guest speakers discussing all about how to prepare for the show ring, what to look for in a Valais Blacknose and tips on how to look after your sheep.’

There will also be a mega raffle, which is not to be missed and features a top prize of a PBR Breeding Pair of Valais Blacknose Sheep (not export eligible), sponsored by Bonniconlon Valais Blacknose. The coveted second prize will be a €300 Homeland Voucher, sponsored by Aurivo Coop and €250 Ocean Sands Voucher, sponsored by Ocean Sands Hotel, Enniscrone, plus lots more prizes. View all the prizes and more at (https://www.idonate.ie/raffle/BVB2024).

Singer Louise Langan will take to the stage mid-morning and the renowned Pat Boyle, and his country roadshow will be joining the action from 2pm. While the music entertainment is in full swing, children are invited to join the Easter egg hunt, penalty shoot outs, mini tractor rides, potato picking, tug of war, face painting or get stuck into our purpose-built sandpit which was a huge hit for our inaugural event in 2023 or you can take a ride on the Shore Farm Pony Therapy ponies!

Visitors can also visit the Valais Blacknose selfie station or say hello to the traditional farm animals on display. And if all that isn’t enough there is also a jiving competition in the covered marquee complete with dancefloor – prizes for First, Second and Third, as well as best Under-18 dancers.

Bonniconlon Farm Open Day
Photo of Patrick and Melissa Walsh with their breed champion Bonniconlon Keara at Bonniconlon Show 2023

Organisations supporting the event on the day will include An Garda Síochána, HSE, Fire Brigade, Teagasc as well as other local Agri Business support. Local businesses are also generously supporting the farm open day, donating generous prizes with lots of hampers and Easter surprises in store. Access via the Bonniconlon Show Grounds from 11am with an entry fee of €15 per car. With such a jam-packed day in store, there is only one place to be on Easter Saturday and that is Bonniconlon – home of the ‘World’s Cutest Sheep’ Bonniconlon Valais Blacknose flock!

Environmentally Friendly SilotitePro1800 Sustane Balewrap Launched at LAMMA 2024

Environmentally Friendly SilotitePro1800 Sustane Balewrap Launched at LAMMA 2024

This year’s LAMMA 2024 show, at the NEC, Birmingham, received a record number of over 40,000 visitors over the two days.

Berry Global’s Silotite stand was very busy with visitors from Britain, Ireland and overseas, calling by to learn about the company’s Film & Film dual balewrapping system.

Berry Global, who are leading manufacturers of bale wrap film, availed of the occasion to launch their new SilotitePro1800 Sustane balewrap, which incorporates 25% post-consumer recycled content for the British & Irish market.

Last year, over 40 m bales of silage were wrapped worldwide with Silotite film, of which 10 m were cross-wrapped with the Baletite baler film, replacing traditional netwrap.

The Film & Film dual wrapping system (see McHale video) results in more uniform and compact bales, which can better withstand handling and have a longer storage life.

Using baler film instead of net wrap, the F & F wrapping system helps to reduce silage losses, limiting mould growth and (thanks to its smooth surface) prevents silage from becoming enmeshed during feed out.

Silotite commercial farm trial results obtained in Britain indicate that a dairy farmer could gain an average of 5.7kg DM (Dry Matter) per F & F bale, so the 67.26MJ ME gained (on average) for each F & F bale could yield an additional 11.6 litres of milk production.

For a cattle farmer, each F&F bale could result in an additional 1.5kg of beef production.*

The all-new SilotitePro1800 Sustane product is an 1800m film with 25% post-consumer recycled content, which has been certified by Recyclass.

This is based on the popular SilotitePro1800 product and delivers the high levels of technical performance that existing Silotite users are familiar with.

Through light weighting and the incorporation of recycled content, the environmental load of SilotitePro1800 Sustane 23 μm film (with 25% PCR) is ±24% less than Silotite’s standard 25 μm film (with 0% PCR), supporting the circular economy and helping to divert waste from landfill.

This new green balewrap offers contractors more benefits including 20% more bales wrapped per reel, time savings as 20% less reels are required, plus a reduction in transportation and product storage**.

Its unique sleeve packaging means that it has less packaging material, with no bulky boxes to move around and recycle separately.

Silotite and Baletite along with Visqueen silage sheets are manufactured for the European market in factories in Belgium, England and Scotland.

Baletite: Pictured L2R on a busy Silotite stand at the LAMMA Show are Armagh man, Lloyd Dawson, Sales Director – Berry Global, and Stuart Anthony, Sales Manager Wales – Berry Global, discussing the dual wrapping Film & Film system and new SilotitePro1800 Sustane balewrap.

McHale: Pictured L2R on a busy McHale stand at the LAMMA Show are Armagh man Lloyd Dawson, Sales Director – Berry Global, New Zealand lady, Kylie Morrison, Marketing Manager – Berry Global with Eoin Clarke, Design & Marketing – McHale Engineering  and Stuart Anthony, Sales Manager Wales  – Berry Global, discussing the dual wrapping Film & Film system using the award winning McHale Fusion 4 balewrapper.

Silotite: Pictured L2R on a busy Silotite stand at the LAMMA Show are Armagh man, Lloyd Dawson, Sales Director – Berry Global, with Matthew Jordan, Marketing Assistant – Berry Global, and New Zealand lady, Kylie Morrison, Marketing Manager – Berry Global, discussing the new SilotitePro1800 Sustane balewrap, with 25% post-consumer recycled content.

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