Our Tips – Site Preparation

We often get asked by farmers for advice on how to choose or prepare a silage bale tube or stack site.

Often a good well prepared site can make the job a lot easier and ultimately yield a better product. Of course everybody’s farm is different. Some have lots of suitable spots, other don’t. Apart from actually putting the tube or stack there to begin with, you have to think about feeding it back out again.

How easy it is to manoeuvre machines, how will the ground surface cope in wet weather or snow, is there adequate drainage, is it an environmentally friendly set up? These are all questions to bear in mind. Some factors that we think are important are to right.

Stacks

  • A lot of the same factors associated with tubes also apply to silage stacks.
  • The stack loader needs space on both sides and the back on the stack to roll right off on to the ground. (6m minimum)
  • The Truck and Trailers need space to turn around, back up to the face of the stack and pull away with the deck up. (remember overhead power lines)
  • A hard surface is essential for traction and also to minimise wastage.

Tubes

  • There is less pushing off and restarting when wrapping.
  • There are less end caps, minimising the possibility of wastage.
  • When feeding out; the same piece of ground isn’t getting hammered every day.
Space to unload a truck or truck and trailer:
  • The shortest distance possible from the trailer to the wrapper is best.
  • The quicker the bales get wrapped the less chance there is of getting caught by the weather.
  • The sooner silage is sealed from the air, the better for fermentation and minimising DM losses.
  • It’s safer to have space around the machines so it’s not too crowded.
Ground Surface:
  • A flat surface is essential to constructing a good straight tube when consistent plastic application.
  • Often a quick pass with a grader will eliminate any history from the previous winter likes holes and divots created when feeding out in wet weather.
  • A hard surface is perfect for wrapping on and feeding out.
  • Stony areas of the farm are fine and only need a pass with a heavy roller.
  • so the wrapper can slide over without catching rocks.
Access in and out of wrap site:
  • We often have some quite large truck and trailer units or semis carting bales. These are great for moving feed efficiently over long distances but can be hard to negotiate around a farm.
  • Double gates into wrap sites are good.
  • Tape gates lend themselves to wide entrances.
  • Sometimes it’s even easiest to drop wires on fences to improve access for a few days.