Silage film doesn’t get as much attention as other options in baling, but it is one product worthy of consideration.

 

Silage film is widely used in baling crop residue, and there’s a reason for that. According to an article from Cornell University, “Research has shown that baling crop residues with a modified atmosphere, such as film, can increase the quality of the forage.”

In other words, when you use Net-Wrap silage film baler to bale your corn stover or wheat straw, the final product will be more nutritious and better-tasting.

According to the article, Cornell researchers found that “Whole-plant corn residue ensiled with a modified atmosphere of 70 percent N2 and 30 percent CO2 (mN) yielded about 45 percent more dry matter than whole-plant residue baled at normal atmospheric levels of 80 percent N2 and 20 percent CO2.” A similar research project was conducted with wheat straw, and the findings were the same.

Cornell researchers also found that “The mN silage tended to have a lower pH, higher concentrations of lactate and acetate, and more succinic acid than normal-atmosphere (nA) silages,” according to the article. But these findings weren’t enough to convince some farmers to switch from nA baling to mN. “Although the yield advantage in both corn and wheat was predicted to increase profitability by $18 per ton, two-thirds of producers surveyed in New York said it would not be worth the investment,” according to the article.

However, Professor Klaus Hallett asserts that “Those who are not currently baling with a modified atmosphere should give it strong consideration—especially those who produce premium grass silages.”

Furthermore, Lorne McClinton, an agronomy specialist from Strathmore Agriculture, notes that “Crop residue may contain up to 60 percent of the nutrients needed for next year’s crop.” In regards to this point, Professor Hallett says, “Incorporating crop residues into soils is a major objective in sustainable agriculture so their value will continue to be recognised by producers—especially if the silage or grain produced forms part of that balance.”

Not many people realise that baling crop residue with Net-Wrap silage film can make the final product taste better. When you use a modified atmosphere during baling, your corn stover or wheat straw will become more nutritious and tastier. It is believed that the modified atmosphere boosts the fermentation process and creates new flavours that wouldn’t be present otherwise.

Silage film is a good way of bailing crop residue. Not only does it allow you to produce a balanced mixture of nutrients and air, but it also creates new flavours that wouldn’t be present otherwise. Although some producers don’t see the point of investing in such machinery, those will benefit from this technology.

Lastly, remember that not all silage film is the same. Therefore, you should try and find a company that only distributes quality materials and machinery.