As grain bags increase in popularity, some farmers are finding getting them properly sealed after filling is their weak point. Winnipegbased Curry Industries has just released its new Poly-Fastener and Bag Zipper Tool to make that job easier.
The Poly-Fastener consists of two plastic strips that lock together to seal grain bags. “Just imagine a giant Zip-lock closure without the bag,” says Mike Curry, general manager of Curry Industries. “The channel and insert strip are sold together as a pair. The company has been marketing a similar design for about 30 years as a method to close silage bags, but it has just recently developed this system to work on grain bags, which use thicker poly.
“What we had to do was retool our design to allow for the different thickness of grain bag material,” explains Curry. “We’ve actually created a whole new product line for the grain industry.”
A common method of closing grain bags has been to screw a pair of 2x4s together over the end to seal bags, but that isn’t the ideal solution.
Shaun Moran, who farms near Portage la Prairie, Man., was one of the first farmers given an opportunity to test the Poly- Fastener system on the farm. “In the past we used 2x4s and screws,” he says. “We seem to be able to get a better water-and airight seal (with the Poly-Fastener) than with a 2×4.”
Moran adds it had been necessary to buy a large quantity of boards to have on hand to seal the bags, and carrying them around was cumbersome. “It takes up a pile of space dragging 2x4s around,” he says. He found the Poly-Fasteners more convenient to use and install. “You can fold it in with a hand tool, but the zipper tool makes it a lot easier.”
Curry says developing the Bag Zipper Tool was important when redesigning the Poly-Fastener to suit grain bags. Previously, farmers using the silage bag closures hadn’t asked for anything like it. But during research and development efforts, Curry found a common request from grain growers was to make using the Poly-Fastener easier and quicker to apply. “They said, ‘Your product is good and the seal is the right one for this industry, but to apply it should be a little easier.’”
When in place, the Poly-Fastener makes an airtight seal, which can be opened and reused. “You’re not going to get any water or air in the bag,” says Curry, and closing a bag with it takes only about half as much time as screwing 2x4s together.
The Poly-Fastener material sells for about $1.70 per foot and comes in lengths to match standard grain bag widths. The tool will sell for $695, but is currently reduced to $625 during its introduction to the market. The company has dealers in Alberta and Manitoba. To find one near you, visit www.curryindustries.com or call 1-800- 538-0008.
The system will also be displayed at this year’s Agri-Trade Exhibition in Red Deer. If you can’t wait until then to see one, the company has a demonstration video posted on YouTube.
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