Silage-Wrap – What Is It and Why Is It Important?
Today, the only realistic options are disposal in landfills or burial in farm fields at landfill sites. The growing demand for silage-wrap material, commonly referred to as ‘waste wrap’, from Western Australia, has increased substantially over the last few years. In 1995, there were an estimated 200 to 260 tons of waste wrap made of polythene (also known as ‘green plastic’) available in Western Australia, and about 1500 tons of this material is currently being used each year.
Although many feel that burying silage in the field to protect it from predators and disease is the wisest use of the material, it’s also the most costly. This problem can be solved by using a silage wrapping machine. A silage-wrap machine consists of a silica bag or wrapper that can be rolled out onto a roll and then sealed with an adhesive. If you look at the surface of the wrapper, you will see a layer of green plastic. This plastic is usually made up of a plastic-like substance, called silica.
The plastic-like substance is then added to a tank of plant waste (which contains cellulose) to form a sticky plastic product. After a while, the plant waste begins to degrade into organic materials. It may not be obvious at first, but the plant waste helps to compost the waste into silage. However, plants do not grow and produce silage. Therefore, more silage has to be produced.
Silage wrapping machines are specifically designed to turn plant waste into silage. They are fitted with a conveyor belt that feeds the waste through a bin filled with plant waste, and into a collection container. Once there, it is left to break down naturally, and the silage is separated into its various products. This process is completed at a rate determined by the type of silage material being processed.
Silage wrap products can be used as a natural fertilizer for plants or used directly on land. The plant waste is first mixed with compost to form a slurry, which then passes through a spinning machine to separate the plant matter from the solids. Once this process is complete, the slurry is fed into a separator that converts it into compost silage.
A silage-wrap is often turned into silage by the plants themselves if they have a composting bed. It may also be sold to farmers to be used as a natural fertilizer on farms. Farmers often mix the slurry with water to create organic compost that is fed into the beds.