Early on as I entered into my Feed Industry career following a number of positions in the University Extension Service, I had the opportunity to participate in some Dealer focus group sessions. We were evaluating what they and their customers valued in non-confined Beef cattle supplement programs and primarily cow herd supplements. As we talked through what was available on the market, one concern that was mentioned has stuck with me over the years and is in regard to the packaging or containers used in free-choice or self-fed supplements. I will never forget one of the comments that I heard in one of those focus group sessions, “What am I supposed to do with all these plastic containers, once I have lined my farm shop walls with them?” Although we all chuckled at his comment, the underlying concern with plastic packaging expense, handling and disposal was, and continues to be a very real problem. Most of us do not need to search very far to find plastic containers in fence-lines or watering holes across the grazing or farm yard landscapes. While recycling plastics can be an option, I have rarely heard of it being practical or available for most containers used in the livestock supplementation business.
To address these issues, we have steadily been working on a delivery system for CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements that can meet a wide variety of producer expectations from all across North America. With our latest technology addition, we feel rather strongly, that we have accomplished this goal and that our customers, in addition to the environment, will be the beneficiaries. We are introducing the CRYSTALYX® BioBarrel® now featuring patent pending WeatherAll® Technology starting this February, 2014.
You may be familiar with the BioBarrel® as the container has been around since 2006. It is Biodegradable being comprised primarily of cereal grain straw and mixed with a soy flour solution for binding. In 2009 improvements were made that increased the durability of the BioBarrel® when aspen wood fiber was added and blended with the straw. The latest WeatherAll® Technology improvement really has focused on expanding the application and effectiveness of the BioBarrel® container to all geographies and environmental conditions within North America. Hot or Cold. Wet or Dry.
While supplement containers come with a cost for the container itself, another more hidden cost, is what do you do with them after supplement has been consumed. Steel containers are good for the environment because they can generally be picked up and returned for a credit. This is a particularly popular option when proximity to the manufacturing plant keeps barrel return costs low, but it does require picking up the empty barrels. Plastic containers, however, need to be gathered up and then disposed of, thereby increasing handling costs. Often dairy operations are not returning steel containers due to damage caused by skid steers and other equipment. A Single Trip Container® like the BioBarrel®, avoids these additional expenses and has minimal impact on the environment as the container simply degrades over time without any energy expenditure in the retrieval or disposal process.
The above points look at advantages for a degradable container. The new WeatherAll® Protection Technology combines that degradability with improved weatherability. The protective coating also helps reduce the attraction that some cattle have to previous versions of the BioBarrel® container once it is softened by prolonged wet conditions. This helps reduce the incidences where the cattle consumed the BioBarrel® faster than the CRYSTALYX® product. Now, with the addition of WeatherAll® Protection, the BioBarrel® maintains a uniform disappearance rate that aligns well with supplement consumption.
With this improvement we invite you to take a look at the delivery of CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements in the BioBarrel® with WeatherAll® Protection. We feel confident you will be satisfied with the performance of the delivery and the reduction in time, labor and expense of handling empty containers. If you have been skeptical of the degradable container because of the climate conditions in your area, we hope you will accept our offer to see how the BioBarrel® with WeatherAll® Protection performs to your expectations. It is a great new technology, a responsible innovation for our environment and a time, labor and expense saver. For more information about the BioBarrel® feel free to go to crystalyx.com or contact your CRYSTALYX® dealer.