Finnish plastic film manufacturer Rani Plast is to launch RaniRepel, a new pest-repellent bale wrap designed to protect against bird and rodent attack and reduce financial losses for farmers, onto the UK market in the spring.

RaniRepel contains a non-toxic, natural active ingredient which, through odour and taste, is repulsive to crows, ravens, rats and mice, but which cannot transfer to the baled crop or to the soil. Rani Plast says that RaniRepel is an excellent repellent that does not harm farm animals and wildlife or affect the role they play in biodiversity.

The company points out that bale degradation by rodent and bird attack can ruin silage and fodder and be costly for farmers in terms of lost crops and time required for repairs. Damaged bales lead to mould, crop contamination and bacterial toxicity, which in turn can impact cattle health and milk production.

Rani Plast claims that in trials, RaniRepel almost completely eliminated bird and rodent attack so that the wrapping remained intact. It adds that RaniRepel has the added benefit of clearing areas of pests, as rodents and birds learn to avoid it and pass on this warning to their group and descendants.

The repellent additive in RaniRepel is made from natural elements, including essential oils, and is extruded into the bale wrap at the manufacturing stage. The repellent exudes an odour that is repulsive to pests and has a bitter taste which irritates the mucous in animals. Because the repellent is integrated to the outer layer of the film, it cannot affect the wrapped crop. Rani Plast says it cannot be washed off by rain, is resistant to high temperature variations and remains fully active for two years from the production date. It should be handled and stored like any other Rani Plast bale wrap.

The RaniRepel product will be distributed by crop packaging specialist Tama UAT in England – www.tama-uat.co.uk or tel 01420 545 800.