Every year in spring or early summer when grass growth is at its optimum, or Maize is ready for harvesting, farmers around New Zealand are making silage for winter feed. This is a valuable source of sustenance for their animals and storing it safely and securely has now become a whole lot better with Secure Covers.
As the process of silage has continually evolved over the decades, the use of the motor industries waste product has never been questioned so the worlds farms have continued being the dumping ground for used tyres.
Whilst designing a large silage bunker, Craig Lipscombe, owner of construction company Designmax, started researching an alternative solution to tyres and happened upon the Secure Covers system which was developed by UK company Thomas and Fontaine.
Now in extensive use throughout the UK, US & Europe, Secure Covers are constructed from a knitted, high density polyethylene (HDPE), specifically designed to withstand 150kph winds.
The clever system requires no tyres due to its rough texture, which instead uses simple aerodynamics, rather than weight, to create down-force – essentially, the harder the wind blows, the more the Secure Cover forces down on the plastic sheet.
NZ farmers are also now finding that not only are they far easier, cleaner & simpler option to tyres, they also prevent animals, rodents & birds, especially pukekos, from damaging the silage. These pests often create holes in the plastic sheet, which lets in oxygen and moisture ruining the silage.
‘Making silage isn’t a cheap process’ Lipscombe says, ‘so its vital NZ farmers ensure they maximise their production & quality and minimize any wastage’
Secure Covers are far tougher than the polythene sheet so even stock can walk over them without doing any damage.
The other key component of the system is the Gravel Bags, which are made from the same material, filled with pea metal and tied off with supplied cable ties. These tube shaped bags are placed end on end around the perimeter of each Secure Cover, creating a perfect seal and ensuring no oxygen can enter the stack. They are a far better alternative than concrete posts or tyres for holding down the edges and can be easily stored on a pallet until next silage season.
The system really comes into its own when used in conjunction with free standing bunkers. These purpose built bunkers are often quite high making tyres difficult & unsafe to install, let alone storing them when not in use. Secure Covers create a simple modern solution which turns the normal unsightly bunker area, into something that is functional & very aesthetically pleasing.
The Secure Covers are available in a range of sizes and are guaranteed UV stable for at least seven years. Secure Covers & Gravel Bags to cover a 12m wide by 30m long silage stack, will cost approximately $2300 plus freight & GST.