What bananas can tell us about silage barrier film.

Twelve years ago, when Connor Agriscience introduced oxygen barrier film to the west, we knew that if we could keep oxygen out of piles and bunkers, we could save more silage from the top three feet. It would be of better feed quality, and farmers could save and reclaim the investment they made in growing or purchasing the crop. We also knew that a “perfect crop” would be harvested at the right dry matter, chopped at the correct length, delivered to the pile or bunker in a reasonable pace, spread in six-inch layers, and packed nearly solid with correct tractor weight and pattern.

We also knew (and know today) that this kind of perfection is rare. Using the methods we teach and the tools we offer can help give a less than perfect harvest a better outcome. Sealpro® Silage Barrier Film is one of those tools. 

Not all silage films are created equal. Bananas show us that. Our Sealpro® Silage Barrier Films are seven microscopic layers thick. The middle layer contains the barrier material and is protected. If barrier material gets wet, it is ineffective. There are several barrier or “vapor” films out there with, in our experience, varying results. If the barrier is of poor quality, if there isn’t much (or any) of it, or if it is not evenly distributed, the film’s effectiveness is compromised.

Name the most oxygen-sensitive fruit you know. (It’s bananas). Leave them exposed to oxygen and they get brown (Oxidize). Bananas are perishable. So is silage.

To show how oxygen barrier film works and how all films are not created equal, we developed a simple, visual test using bananas to show how oxygen could be kept from the silage surface and three feet below it. True, there are lab tests that numerically rate oxygen transfer rate (OTR), and we have done many repetitions of these lab tests on our films. One hundred percent of the time, the lab tests match our Banana Test. You may have seen this demonstration at a trade show in our booth. It’s a great topic of conversation and eye-opening, easy to understand illustration.

To prove that no special treatment was given to Sealpro®, an independent nutritionist in Tulare, California volunteered to proctor a Banana Test. The bananas were sealed under his watch, in his office. He kept the bananas for 19 days, and photographed them at intervals. The results speak for themselves. Note Sealpro PURPLE® (light purple film, left side) and Sealpro TITANIUM® (gray film, middle lower) have puffed up by the end of the Test, demonstrating how the oxygen barrier film does not allow oxygen in, and doesn’t allow fermentation gasses out.