Our project leader Niklas arranged this visit to a farm near Vaasa to get in touch with the traditional way of packaging wet grain in big tubes. The machinery for the crimping and packaging process is produced by Geringhoff, a german brand for farm machineries. The machineries don’t belong to the farmers, but they are used by an entrepreneur, who goes from farm to farm to handle the wet grain storage process. The whole process includes the following steps:
- Creating a fundament of sand for the foil tube to avoid damages by sharp rocks
- Positioning of the Crimp&Storage machinery and the tractor on the sand place
- Picking up of the wet grain at provided deposits and filling it into the Crimp&Storage machinery by a wheel loader
- Crimping of the grain within the machinery
- Addition of a preservative to increase the possible storage period
- Packaging of the wet, crimped grain in the foil tube under a bit pressure and avoidance of air bubbles in the air tight tube
- Moving forward of the whole machinery by a automatic speed system and generating a long foil tube
After the wet grain tube is finished, the foils are wrapped around the opening to close it and to guarantee that the wet grain doesn’t get into a constant contact with the air. The tube has a diameter of about 2,50 meters and only one layer of foil, which is durable and thick.
If the farmer needs some food for his livestock, he will open the tube on one side and feed the still wet grain directly to his animals.
The biggest disadvantage of this method is the immobility of the big tubes, which are so heavy that they have to be placed close to the livestock. The goal of the new packaging method is an easy handling by using smaller package sizes.