Sugar beet pulp has the consistency of something like potato peelings and porridge with a sticky almost slimy texture, the dry matter content is relatively low and the material dense. As such it has to be handled and stored carefully in specifically designed silage clamps.
‘Sugar beet pulp doesn’t behave in the clamps like maize or grass silage,’ says William Wilson Business Development Manager for silage clamp and cover specialists, ARK Agriculture Ltd. ‘It has a life of its own, it moves in clamps and certainly doesn’t ‘stack’ like maize’.
Because of its liquid content and mush like property sugar beet pulp will move into any empty spaces in the clamps. It is also often delivered to the clamps hot straight from the factory.
‘This is why a clamp being built or used for the storage of sugar beet pulp should be treated more like a tank for storing liquid. The clamp must have a back wall and the clamp must be as narrow as possible 5-8m maximum - this means the only direction the pulp can move is to the front of the clamps which is where they will be emptied from’.
This will mean building more clamps/clamp walls to achieve a greater capacity adds Mr Wilson, a cost that must be considered in the long term use of pulp.
Height is also critical, unlike maize or grass the highest a sugar beet pulp clamp should be filled is 3 -4m from the base of the clamps with walls the same height or lower.
Walls must be built to stand the extra loading of the pulp. Sloping walls with earth banks are ideal for this purpose.
‘Filling any higher than 3m only adds more pressure causing the pulp to spread further and the face of the stored pulp over 3m becomes incredibly unstable and the clamps hard to empty’.
‘The other point which applies to all silage is the importance of keeping the area of exposed ‘ensiled’ material as small as possible. Losses, especially in high energy crops like beet pulp will soon rack up when they begin to waste at the silage face on a clamp that isn’t being emptied quickly enough’.
Mr Wilson sites research that indicates 15% of potential energy can be lost from silage exposed to oxygen for more than 14 days. Warmer weather will only encourage this waste and pulp in the summer is very attractive to flies and vermin.
Other options for the use of pulp are mixing it with a high DM material like maize grass or straw.
‘We have seen all of the above tried in the UK and Germany’, adds Mr Wilson.
‘You must remember the change in density of the material you are storing if you mix pulp and maize silage for example. The strain put on the clamp walls through this mixture is enormous as the leachate form the pulp is absorbed into the maize silage rather than draining out of the clamps.
I would only attempt this with a clamp with very strong walls, supported by earth banks and at a low fill height, again 4m maximum.
It is also worth considering the added hassle of getting the crops in the clamps as the timing is often tricky with maize being harvested in October but pulp not being available until the sugar beet factories have been opened in November – December.
‘Whatever you do I would spend the time to investigate your storage options as mistakes can be costly both in losses and damage to the clamps.
If you are considering storing sugar beet pulp get in touch with ARK Agriculture now on 01787 220560.
The Maize Growers Association figures for the maize crop this year indicate that a 43t /ha crop will be costing about £29 per tonne fresh weight to grow - a lower yield will inevitably push this figure up.
This could be an unfortunate but likely scenario for many after a dry summer.
Waste in silage clamps can be as high as 20% or as low as 5% in well managed and covered clamps.
But how much of your silage will be affected by your choice of sheeting?
See - https://dairy.ahdb.org.uk/…/do-yo...u-have-too-much-waste-in…/…
'For clamps, the vulnerable zone is 0.5m from the side wall or the top sheet of the clamp. Many producers disregard this portion of the clamp as being the ‘bits around the side’ but these evaluations show a significant proportion (on average 27 per cent of the volume and 21 per cent of the fresh weight) of all the silage is in these vulnerable zones. For the clamps assessed, the average cost of filling the clamp was around £21,000, which means on average over £4,000 worth of silage is in the vulnerable zone'.
When you are considering your silage clamps and covers - don’t cut corners come to ARK Agriculture and we will give you all the advice and products you need to keep clamps waste in single figures.
This includes Oxygen Barrier silage sheets (no more cling film!) , netting gravel bags and our gravel bag fixing system.
You can read more about the range here or give us a call!
Farm safety is something that the industry is going to great efforts to improve and one way you can make your farm a safer place to work is to ensure your staff wear hi-visibility clothing.
This might mean having to wear fluorescent vests over work clothes - hi-vis vests can be forgotten, dirty and uncomfortable when they are worn for long periods in tractor cabs.
ARK Agriculture, better known for their innovation in silage clamps and silage clamp covering, have the solution with their unique range of extremely highly quality, high visibility work shirts.
‘We took our time to find the right partner to supply us the best possible hard wearing and comfortable shirts on the market and the Swedish company Blakladers range ticked those boxes,’ Says ARK Director Will Wilson.
The shirts have the same ‘built in’ visibility requirements as conventional florescent jackets ; High Vis class 1 requirements, and EN ISO 20471- the shirts marked UV also meet the requirements EN1356-2 (UPF 40+) – sun protection
They are made out of polyester and/or cotton which have been treated to create a breathable, tough and comfortable material that can easily be worn all day.
‘Having taken these shirts for a road test ourselves and after some awesome feedback from customers we can safel
y say these are a perfect safety solution for anyone working on a farm in the UK’
The shirts can be branded with your own farm logo and ARK welcomes all enquiries for large and small volume orders.
Call ARK now on 01787220560, email email@example.com
Some of the advantages you might want to consider from ARK Safety Shirts.
For the employer
Never have staff on site without wearing the appropriate high-vis (no more leaving mucky high vis vests in tractor cabs)
Easily identify the people on your farm, if they aren’t wearing your shirts, they shouldn’t be there
Invest in your staffs presentation and your farms image
Give your staff the right clothing from day one that will last well and they will want to wear
Reduce the risk of staff being injured on your farm
For the employee
A sense of team unity on the farm
Reduces the chance of serious injury to staff at night and working in low visibility areas
Easy to clean, the shirts will not shrink after multiple washes
Hard wearing double stitched seams and wicking material that reduces sweating and odour during long work days
Less personal cost for clothing, more hygienic as shirts can be laundered ‘on farm’
ARK Agriculture Ltd will be exhibiting this year at the UK AD & World Biogas Expo at the NEC in Birmingham from 11-12th July.
Our stand number is L409 - if you're thinking of building silage clamps for your AD plant or you need silage sheets for the upcoming maize harvest, feel free to stop by and have a chat with the team, we are always happy to help!
We will also be displaying a new range of spill containment products and enzymes that are used to increase biogas production.
We look forward to seeing you at the NEC on the 11 and 12th July.
- ARK Agriculture Ltd
Did you know...."60% of all silage pits are more than 10 years old and many of them don’t comply with the latest rules and regulations."
Clamp design and keeping in line with the latest regulations is paramount if you are looking at building a new silage clamp.
This article from Farmer's Weekly offers some great advice on building a new clamp, the current regulations and design tips to help you get the most out of your new silage clamp.
ARK Agriculture Ltd
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.