Pink silo balls for a good cause
During harvesting of the first grassland section at Hof Ullrich-Nanninga in Hinte, near Aurich, the colour pink is dominant for the first time. Instead of being typically packed in green, white, or black wrapping film, the silage balls are packaged in pink by the baling press.
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"This is a real eye-catcher, and we want to create attention for agriculture and for our initiative", explained managers Stephanie Ulrich and Thomas Nanninga. There is a serious reason behind the unusual choice of colour, explained Stefan Plenter, AGRAVIS specialist for foils, nets, yarns, and Ilse Ippen, who is active in the outside sales team at AGRAVIS Ems-Jade GmbH: "The Tenoplus 'Pink Edition' from Trioplast does not just ensure that the silage fodder is properly packed, but also supports a good cause at the same time: For every roll of film sold, three euro is donated to the 'Pink Ribbon' charity to support initiatives that focus on early detection of breast cancer within Germany. In this case one euro is donated by the farmer, retail, and also by the manufacturer."
As Stephanie Ullrich and Thomas Nanninga heard of the initiative that took place in Germany in 2015 for the first time, they were immediately keen: "The initiative is an innovative opportunity to communicate with our region regarding the importance of early detection of breast cancer. At the moment one in eight women are affected by this condition and it promotes acting quickly in order to prevent further illness. Many people who see these pink balls are interested in the initiative's background. These provide the opportunity to do something good, to enter discussions with others and to create positive awareness." Four round, pink balls stand on the heavily-frequented road in Hinte with a poster that has been specially created for this initiative in order to stimulate more interest.
Alongside an agricultural service company, Stephanie Ullrich and Thomas Nanninga also raise their own animals with 150 cattle, 5 mother cows, and 46 hectares of grassland. They used the first grass cuttings to wrap the first 400 balls in pink. Part of the feed is needed on their own farm. A large proportion of the balls were sold on directly after the harvest, such as to a riding centre on Norderney and also to the Netherlands. "Customers can look forward to the more colourful version" stated Stephanie Ullrich. "This means greater awareness of this good cause".
Even customers of the Ullrich-Nanninga agricultural contractors, which provide contract work within the grassland sector, are interested in these round bales and have already placed their own orders for the "Pink Edition". Ilse Ippen confirmed that there is considerable interest and that the demand within the AGRAVIS Ems-Jade region continues to grow: "We already have several customers – farmers and contractors – that have partly changed over to this variant, or have interest in such a changeover in order to continue participating in the initiative." Stefan Plenter added: "Due to a new manufacturing process, the thickness of the 'Tenoplus' stretch film can be reduced from 25 to 21 my without any effect on tear resistance or oxygen impermeability. The material saved was used by lengthening the roll (1,900 metres instead of 1,500 metres). On the one hand, this aids sustainability, and on the other, it is more efficient for the contractor (more balls per roll)."
The grassland areas owned by Stephanie Ullrich and Thomas Nanninga will continue to have dashes of pink in the future: "We are convinced with regard to this initiative and have already ordered the pink version for the next section".