The recent massive hike in the price of silage film wrap, means that the film now accounts for nearly 35% of the total cost of just making round silage bale, making this an increasingly expensive form of winter feed.
“At a cost of about £7.25 a bale, what was originally a quick, easy and fairly low cost form of conserving grass for buffer feeding cattle, etc, has now become very expensive, especially if you are making a large number of bales, and that’s before you then also have to pay to dispose of the film again,” says Richard Snell of the Profitable Farming Company.
“Round bale silage came about as it was a cost effective and more weather reliant solution to making hay. However thanks to modern technology and the development of automatic preservative systems such as Baler’s Choice that allow hay to be safely baled at moisture contents of up to 30%, we have now gone full circle with hay as a viable alternative to costly silage.”
With a 750mm roll of silage film now costing about £47 and only covering 20 bales if using 6 layers, the cost of film alone comes to £2.35/bale before the cost of baling and then wrapping at about £4.90.
By comparison, where hay is baled using Baler’s Choice applied at an average rate of 2 litres/tonne, depending on the moisture content for a 300Kg bale of hay, this will only cost £1.20p/bale for the preservative, in addition to the baling cost of around £2.20, giving a total of £3.40 per bale.
“For a livestock farmer making a large number of bales, the difference could have a major impact on their profitability, especially when you consider that with silage a lot of what you are wrapping is just water, whereas with a hay bale you will also be getting a lot more dry matter.
Baler’s Choice is a complete hay preservative application system that uses a near neutral, buffered form of Propionic Acid (6.0pH). Automatic application units are available for all types of baler which use sensors in the bale chamber to measure moisture content and bale rate, so that the application rate is automatically adjusted by the applicator according to baling speed and moisture changes. Baler’s Choice allows hay to be baled at moisture contents of up to 30% without the risk of heating, or moulds and dust developing during storage without the need of an additional wrapping operation.
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