Let the silage harvest packing begin!

September 23, 2019


Yesterday the trucks were busy chopping and bringing in silage to our pile and I watched my dad go rounds on the tractor getting it packed correctly.  By tightly packing a silage pile it allows for an anaerobic environment where bacteria can ferment preventing mold and preserving the feed. Weather cycles out of the ordinary this year could affect the nutrition level of the silage put up this fall.  With all the moisture, planting dates were early or late leaving a wide range of maturity and quality. Silage inoculants help control the fermentation process, and inoculant that contains lactic acid bacteria speed up the process of dropping PH in return inhibiting the growth of protein degrading bacteria and reducing the loss of highly digestible nutrients. Inoculants containing lactobacillus buchneri reduce the growth of yeasts and molds in silage. When looking for inoculants stop by your local Central Valley Ag feed location and we can help find one to best fit your operation.

Packing silage at a correct density, using a good cover and sealing quickly for a fast fermentation will help reduce the chance of colostridia growth. Molds tend to grow in hot spots where oxygen is present and can be found in poorly sealed areas, corners or areas of trapped air pockets. If mold is visible discard immediately because even small amounts can reduce intake, put herd health at risk as well as reproduction. Keep in mind that silage with no visible sign of mold can still contain mycotoxins. Our Feed sales team at CVA is trained to collect samples and have them analyzed to determine their nutrient composition and can also submit samples for mycotoxin testing. With these results in hand, our team can design a program to make the most efficient use of your ensiled forages to feed to your cattle.  We recommend letting piles sit for 3-4 weeks before taking a sample for analysis.

On a final note, please keep safety in mind when working around silage piles. Having a reminder meeting each year with employees is a great idea. A few reminders are to stay clear for at least 3 weeks after filling silos, safety vests make employees more visible, never work in these areas alone and when on top of a silage pile stand no closer than 6 feet to the feed out face. The best way to safely obtain a sample is to take them from a loader bucket away from the feed out face. I hope everyone has a safe and successful season getting silage put up as it is a great ingredient to feed cattle through the winter months.

by Brandi Salestrom
Posted: 9/23/2019 4:02:08 PM by Kristin Petersen | with 0 comments


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