A silage wrap, also called a bale wrap, is a blanket that farmers use to protect their crops during the cold winter months. This protection makes it possible for farmers to continue to grow their crops throughout the year. However, the method of wrapping and protecting the product comes in several different forms. There is the typical clear wrap, which is made up of heavy paper and plastic material. Then there is the dark plastic wrap, which goes by several names, including bale or clear plastic wrap, barn wrap, and even waste wrap. The clear silage wrap has been known to last up to ten years.
There are many reasons why the bale method of protecting crops is more popular among farmers. The main reason is that it allows for greater flexibility. For example, bales can be arranged in different sizes to accommodate certain crop varieties. Another benefit is that the bales are reusable, allowing silage wraps to be changed and stacked on another order without additional costs.
It is common for farmers to cover large fields with silage wrap. The process is used to protect the seed from being spoiled during storage and protect the forage from blowing away during transportation. As we all know, moisture can cause spoilage in any food item. The traditional method of preventing spoilage is refrigeration, although some farmers opt to go beyond and use cooling systems or even dryers. However, direct sunlight is not good enough in the hay, so farmers must go even further and protect their product from the sun’s harmful rays. A major benefit of the protective coating is that it helps to keep the product fresh, even during periods of bad weather.
Another benefit of the silage wrap, especially to those who enjoy preparing their meals, is that it makes it easy to prepare and clean. Instead of manually removing and replacing each layer of forage between processing and delivery, which can be a lengthy process, farmers can throw away the empty wrap and replace it with a fresh batch. Forage that is leftover from the first processing run is usually discarded, saving valuable money on spoilage and waste disposal. Hay is also highly sanitary and pesticide-free, allowing for maximum hygiene standards and a clean work environment. Even though this type of packaging requires much more work than traditional packaging, it is usually worth it when you consider the money and time you will save.
The baled silage wrap process requires specialised equipment, including a hot air compressor, a wet vacuum, an immersion circulator, a vibrating drum, and a drying stand. These tools are typically used only in the dry matter portion of the production process but may also be required for crop dyes. The final result of the silage wrapping process is an excellent, strong, flexible, and easily maintained plastic. Plastic is often used for large quantities of products or in conjunction with other forms of packaging to ensure a higher level of product safety. The drying process, called flash drying, does not expose the finished product to direct heat, allowing for longer shelf life.
Baled silage is a unique product that offers some benefits for both the agricultural producer and the environment. These benefits include high levels of economic savings due to lower energy consumption, better sanitation, and protection against pests and disease. This type of packaging provides an environmentally responsible means of recycling agricultural plastic waste into a useful product. It is a cost-effective means of recovering valuable natural resources.