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Silage Quality is on top with Film and Film Wrapping

Silage Quality is on top with Film and Film Wrapping

Charlie and Dave Blandford run Brobury Farms in north west Herefordshire. The brothers have a 950 acre farm, which consists of 250 acres of grassland with 3 to 4 year high sugar grass leys. Their livestock consists of a commercial flock of 250 ewes with lambs finished on high sugar grass, 50 pedigree texels and 80 cattle on a bed and breakfast basis. The other 700 acres are used for arable crops and some land let for potatoes.

Charlie and Dave use contractors to make baled silage for their livestock, and their main concern is the quality of silage. They have found that the film & film wrapping system produces the best quality silage, as Baletite baler film helps to make denser bales with less oxygen trapped inside. Silotite bale wrap is also used. Once made, the bales are immediately moved using a bale handling squeezer and then stacked no more than 3 bales high. Once covered in a protection net, the bales are ensiled for around 6 months.

When it comes to feed out, bales are put through a straw/silage chopper and fed in front of barriers for the cows. During lambing, bales are chopped and put into sheep racks to avoid waste, and in late autumn, the bales are added to a ring feeder cradle. Charlie and Dave commented that feed out has become easier since using Baletite. Charlie commented, "it is very easy to get the bales open and into the chopper. We have less wastage now, compared to when we used clamp silage."

The farm takes silage quality very seriously and uses an external company for analysis. The company results showed very high quality from the round bales Charlie and Dave had produced, and even commented that samples from this farm were some of the best they had analysed for round bales. Another advantage the brothers had found when using Baletite was the flexibility in the management of grass. Once fields become available after the sales of spring lambs, they can then be used for grass growth, giving attention to quality and growth at all stages.

The Blandfords use a local collection service for their plastic recycling and love the advantage of not having to separate the film from net, as Baletite and wrap are made from the same raw materials. Charlie commented on the use of Baletite in that it allows flexibility in the management of grass on the farm in terms of both grazing and silage making. He continued, "The Film and Film system is the only way to make silage bales, and we will continue to use the concept long into the future."