The use of silage wrap in Western Australian farms is growing rapidly. In 1995, approximately 250 to 300 tonnes of silage wrapping polyethylene (the most commonly used silage) was being used in Western Australian and about 1500 tonnes on average in other states of Australia. This type of wrapping has many benefits and uses which are not generally recognised as being true of the majority of the silage wrappers available. The benefits in hay production may well be attributed to the fact that silage wrapping minimises the environmental impact of harvesting and processing.
The most obvious of the benefits in silage wrapping is its reduced impact on the environment. During the harvesting process, a good majority of the waste created is made up of animal fats which will be recycled into the farm’s feed. Some of this is of course reused, but the bulk of it will need to be sent off to landfill sites or a landfilling site. The amount of plant life that is negatively affected by the use of Netwrap Silage wrap is minimal compared to that which would be caused by manual harvesting, or if the harvesting methods were mechanised. Many animal products, such as lard or tallow, will end up in the landfills. It’s likewise one of the reasons why silage processing plants have to be very efficient to achieve significant production levels.
The waste material from the harvesting process is generally disposed of through a landfill site. It can either be transported to the site by road, truck, or plane. If the transport is carried by plane, it must meet the standards set out by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). This is a set of guidelines developed by the Federal Government that requires planes to carry the minimum amount of waste that can be handled without harming the environment.
Netwrap Silage wrap minimises the amount of plant waste produced. As mentioned previously, the primary source of animal fat used to make hay for processing is cattle. Animal fats contain large amounts of lard, tallow and grease, which can be difficult and expensive to process. The problem here is that these fats will not decompose as quickly as plant material. Therefore, they are usually burnt and never recycled into feed as would otherwise be the case.
Silage wrapping reduces the risk of animal diseases occurring when processing plants are constructed and used on a commercial scale. These include hepatitis and E. coli, which are both pathogens that may be transmitted through direct contact with animals during the handling of their waste. These are especially important as animal wastes are deposited in a large volume at the silage processing plant.
Besides, silage wrapping reduces the number of landfills used and the cost of transporting waste away from the plant. The majority of waste materials generated at the silage plant will be disposed of in a landfilling site, reducing the size of the landfill space used to dispose of the waste. This means less need for construction of new storage facilities.
There is an additional benefit in silage processing plants, as is clear from the fact that silage production is more productive in areas where there are less soil erosion and sedimentation of soil. This means that less sand and clay are required to create the images needed for making hay. These soils are rich in nutrients for the crops grown on the images.
The use of silage wrapping reduces the amount of fertiliser and herbicides used on the farm’s hay. For example, the silage wrapping used at the silage processing plant has a low concentration of lard and tallow, reducing the number of nutrients needed by the animals to create a feed. It implies that a reduction in the number of herbicides is also produced. This is important as the livestock industry is known to be one of the largest contributors to the contamination of the environment.