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Durapak Agri letter published in Irish Farmer's Journal June 2017

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In June the Irish Farmers Journal published a letter from Durapak Agri in their letter section. The letter addresses the misleading assumptions made by Barry Cassidy in his article dated Sat 27th May “Silage Wrap Prices Reduced on 2016 levels”.

Price per Reel only is misleading

Dear Editor,

I refer to your article by Barry Cassidy in the Irish Farmers Journal dated Sat 27th May “Silage Wrap Prices Reduced on 2016 levels”

As a specialist in supplying silage film (plastic/ wrap) to many of your readers over the last 30 years, I would like to expand on some of the points made by Mr.  Cassidy.

Firstly the key point for all your farmer clients is their objective to enisle high quality forage so that they obtain high levels of animal production on their farms.

In the case of bale silage the best quality silage is achieved by applying a heavier / thicker plastic or by applying more wraps of a thinner material.

The thicker the plastic the better the oxygen barrier which results in well preserved forage.

Inadequate amounts of plastic on bales can lead to mouldy silage and in some cases to the complete loss of forage.

Reel Weights

Decisions made by farmers based on price per reel of plastic only can be misleading as what appears at first glance to be a cheaper plastic can in fact be a more expensive product.

Farmers should be made aware of the reel weight differences and the plastic thickness differences.

On the Irish Market the vast majority of Silage wrap brands are all the same length at 1500m and are all the same height at 750mm in height.  The critical difference is in the thickness of the plastic.

As you can see from Table 1 a survey conducted in recent weeks shows a huge variation in both reel weights and in the thickness of the plastics.

Table – 1   Agri- Stretch wrap Survey 2017

Brand Weight Kgs / Reel Differences Kgs / Reel Variance Microns
A – Durapak Hi-Tac 28.08 - - 25
Brand B 27.45 -0.63 -2.3% 24.43
Brand C 27.38 -0.70 -2.55% 24.36
Brand D 27.25 -0.83 -3.05% 24.24
Brand E 26.80 -1.28 -4.98% 23.80
Brand F 26.10 -1.98 -7.59% 23.10
Brand G 23.95 -4.13 -17.24% 20.70


So as you can see from Table 1 making a decision based on price between Brand A & Brand G is very misleading as there is a difference of over 17% in the Reel weight and the plastic thickness between the two materials.

Brand A is worth €14.00 to €15.00 more than Brand G!

And where the farmer applies Brand A over Brand G he/she would be applying 17% more plastic at all times irrespective of whether they use 4 layers, 6 layers or 8 layers.

The benefits will accrue in the form of better quality silage as the thicker plastic provides a better oxygen barrier all the time.

If one was to use a price only comparison (as was the case in Mr. Cassidy’s article) and assume Brand G could be purchase at €75.00 / Reel then Brand A is worth €88.00 per Reel.  So price comparisons on a per reel only basis are very misleading.
Finally a simple test which can be conducted at  farm level is to weigh the reels on farm.  Farmers can then make informed decisions  and establish which film brands are the heaviest are are likely to provide the best protection for their forage.

Yours sincerely,
Seamus O’ Callaghan
Managing Director
086 2577 222

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