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Sealed Storage In Plastic Bags
Just introduced into the United States a little more than a year ago, plastic silage bags are creating tremendous interest, according to Leo Fish, Iowa farmer and national distributor for the new storage equipment. About 80 systems have been sold in Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, California, Texas, Colorado, Oregon and other states, he reports.
  Silage is put into bags with a machine called the Eberhardt Silopress, made in West Germany. The press, 8 feet wide and 14 feet long, moves chopped silage into a plastic bag and packs it tightly. It’s pto operated and requires a relatively small (35-50 hp) tractor.
  Plastic bags that hold the silage are 8 ft. in dia. and up to 100 ft. long. They are 8 mil. plastic with a tear strength of 62 lbs. per sq. inch. The bags are held in a mesh covered tubular frame so that pressure can be applied to the bag while packing. As the bag is filled, it’s unrolled and the press moves forward, leaving the sack in place on the ground.
  A full bag holds 100 tons or more depending on length and kind of material. It is sealed and left in place for storage. “When ready to feed, the farmer-owner can remove silage from the end and transport it to his livestock, or cattle can self-feed out of the open bag,” Fish explains. “The packed silage flakes off in vertical layers, the same way it was stuffed into the bag.”
  The Silopress retails for about $13,000, and the plastic bags cost about $1 per ton of feed stored.
  “The 80 or so units operating throughout the U.S. are being used for every kind of storage imaginable,” says Fish. “Corn silage, haylage, milo and high moisture corn are common uses. Farmers are also putting up chicken litter, brewers grains, and corn stalks. In the fruit belt, surplus fruit is mixed with other forages and put up as feed.”
  “Quality of storage is high with the Silopress,” says Fish. “In Europe, bags have been stored in open sunlight for as long as 14 months with no deterioration of the contents. In cold northern U.S. winters, there has been no more than 1 1/2 inches of freezing around the outside of the bag.”
  The plastic is tough enough to withstand most stresses, but if punctured it can be repaired with a stick-on plastic patch. Even if a hole isn’t repaired, there’s only a small amount of spoilage around the puncture, says Fish.
  Bags of silage can be put up wherever it is convenient -- close to the bar or in the feedlot. After filling, they cannot be moved. However, they can be partially emptied and then sealed again without spoilage. Bags are not reusable, but they can be buried after use and will decompose in two years.
  Fish sums up these advantages of the Silopress system:
1.  Low cost sealed storage. No capital outlay for bunkers, or for upright conventional silos or sealed storage structures.
2.    Unlimited capacity. For more storage, you need only buy more plastic bags.
3.  Flexibility. You can store silage where you want, in any amount you want. Bags come in 100 foot lengths and can be cut to any size you need. If you move to a new farm, you can take the complete system with you. It can also be used for custom work on other farms.
4.  Top quality feed. Because it’s firmly packed and sealed airtight, any material stored comes out as top quality feed.
For more information on the Silopress, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Leo Fish, President; Midwest Silopress, Inc., RR 1, Moville, Iowa 51039 (ph 712 948-3351).

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