Farmers are being urged to assess their silage clamps before this year’s maize harvest to ensure they are sound, safe to use and compliant with UK regulations.
This is the message from William Wilson, Business Development Director from sloping walled silage clamp supplier ARK Agriculture.
‘Our recent research into the silage clamp market in the UK carried out by Cambridge University, showed that 70% of silage clamps are more than 40 years old,’ says Mr Wilson, ‘the clamp will likely be the oldest, unchanged item on your farm’.
‘Is your silage clamp truly fit for purpose? We are seeing more and more clamps filled far too high, overloading walls, leaking, and putting operators safety at risk - rarely in this environment can good quality silage be achieved’.
Regulations and Pollution
Silage leachate is a by-product of silage making and is extremely corrosive. It can be highly polluting leading to legal action by the environment agency if it not contained and treated safely.
‘Silage leachate has a similar risk profile to raw sewage and can cause the same damage to the environment if absorbed into groundwater.’ Says Mr Wilson.
The current regulations on the design of new silage clamps is the SSAFO regs which can easily be found online. Although these regulations apply to clamps after 1990, older clamps which pollute will still fall foul of the EA.
‘At the end of the day if you are doing something on the farm which causes a pollution incident, regardless of how it happens, you are liable – so it’s worth reading and understanding the rules as they contain some handy well thought out advice’ .
ARK Agriculture now supply a range of spill containment products including IBC bunds, spill or sump pallets, spill trays, drum bunds and drum pallets.
CLICK HERE to download our Spill Containment brochure
- ARK Agriculture Ltd
On 14th May the Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas Association (ADBA) is holding a free operator workshop in partnership with the Environment Agency and National Farmers Union.
ARK Agriculture will be speaking at the event discussing silage clamp compliance and how to enhance the performance of your clamps to produce the highest quality silage for your AD plant.
The day will provide useful, practical advice on how to improve plant performance, including:
The event is being held at the Environment Agency's Brampton Office, Bromholme Lane, Brampton, Huntingdon, PE28 4NE and will run from approx. 10am to 4pm and will include lunch.
You can read more about the workshop here:
We look forward to seeing you there.
ARK Agriculture is attending Grassland UK 2018 at the Bath & West Showground on May 10th. If you are attending feel free to stop by and say hello.
If you are thinking of building new silage clamps then ARK Agriculture are the people to speak to - stop by our stand for a friendly chat about silage clamps or anything else silage related!
From the Bath & West website:
"Held on a working farm in Somerset, Grassland UK covers every aspect of forage production, from seeds to feeds, with machinery demonstrations, a technical advice area, seminars, silage clamp demonstrations and trade stands from all sectors of the industry.
The one-day triennial event attracts more than 8000 visitors from across the UK and beyond, showcasing a vast array of machinery demonstrations over the 100-acre site.
Visitors are able to see the latest equipment in action, learn about new grass varieties and technology, and speak to experts on any related topic."
We look forward to seeing you there!
Will, Francis and Oliver
Farmers in the South west should be looking at their silage clamps now, before spring, to ensure they are compliant with Environment Agency rules.
This is the message from Will Wilson, Business Development Director at silage clamp specialists ARK Agriculture.
‘We have had a surge of enquiries about the options for silage clamp systems in the South West’, Says Mr Wilson, ‘this is the result of focus from the Environment Agency who are now paying very close attention to clamps’.
Some farmers have found that their clamps have been condemned, which will be a major issue in the spring when they need to find alternative storage arrangements.
The company known for its innovation in silage clamps for livestock farmers and anaerobic digestion plants has been re-branded ARK Agriculture following a management buyout of Bock UK.
Renowned for its sloping-walled clamps and oxygen barrier silage sheets, the Colchester-based firm is now chaired by Sean Milbank with Francis Auchincloss, William Wilson and Oliver Peck forming the board of directors.