Maintaining silage quality during the winter period
Silage qualityIdeally the face of your silage pit should be used in one week. A long narrow pit is better than a wider faced pit.
The wider the pit, the longer it will take to eat the face, which can lead to increased spoilage. If you have not already done so, you should sharpen your shear grab, to keep the face of the pit tidy and ensure a clean cut. A blunt shear grab will leave an uneven face which will allow increased air flow through the pit and accelerate spoilage.
Mouldy silageThe feeding of mouldy silage to dairy cows or youngstock is not advised. The feeding value of mouldy silage is decreased, but more importantly it can have a negative impact on animal health.
Listeriosis is one disease that can affect cattle from eating mouldy silage. It is more commonly seen in youngstock.
SafetyIn many farmyards the height of silage pits this year is noticeable, with many exceeding well beyond the top of the walls and safety barriers. Removing tyres and the plastic sheeting regularly is important, if you expose too much silage spoilage will be increased.
Little and often is the best approach for the silage pit cover.