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Silage covers - or bunker silo covers, as they are also known-, are an effective and low-cost way of storing grain or animal feed, protecting it from the effects of moisture and oxygen while preserving its nutritional value.
Silage covers are also used to preserve forage destined to biogas production. Biogas facilities constitute an important investment, so properly protecting corn and other feedstock crops from mold is crucial to avoid a loss of energy and, ultimately, money.
There are many different materials available in the market for use as silage covers. Plastic tarps weighted down by tires is one of the most widespread in the agricultural industry. Mostly made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE), this type of silage cover lasts a maximum of 18-24 months. Although in theory they can be recycled after the end of their service life, plastic silage covers mostly end up being burned or sent to landfill.
Firestone’s GeoSmart EPDM geomembrane offers a simple, efficient, long-lasting and sustainable alternative for silage cover applications. Its very low permeability to water and gas and straightforward installation system ensure an excellent conservation of feed quality and significantly reduces the losses at the top of the silo (< 1%).
Made of synthetic rubber EPDM (Ethylene-Propylene-Diene Terpolymer), GeoSmart EPDM membranes are robust, durable and easy to use. Their chemical composition makes them very resistant to ozone, UV-rays, microorganisms and weather conditions such as hail or snow. Their elasticity enables them to expand and contract according to temperature fluctuations without ever becoming brittle or cracking. Robust, it is possible to walk on them without risk of damage and their non-slip texture limits the risk of accidents.
All these qualities make GeoSmart EPDM membranes extremely durable. They can be reused for several years, preserving the quality of the feed and substantially reducing the waste generated by the farm or biogas facility. They require very little maintenance and can be easily repaired, further prolonging their service life.
EPDM is also a chemically inert material, so it does not release toxic substances into the air or in the water, making it completely safe for the animals who will eat the feed and for the people who will later consume products originated from those animals, such as dairy or meat.
With a thickness of 0.8 mm, GeoSmart EPDM sheets are made to measure to adapt to the dimensions of the silo or heap, ensuring optimal anaerobic storage conditions. Its weight (0.76 kg/m²) reduces the amount of ballast needed, virtually eliminating the need to use of tires.
Find out why GeoSmart EPDM is ideal for durable silage cover applications.