Waste Not, Want Not - How to avoid silage losses during housing period
On the majority of Irish farms, grass silage is the main source of winter fodder.
Being the year that it is, silage is being fed on numerous farms since late September! S
Silage stocks may become scarce on farms as the winter progresses. Aim to avoid silage losses during housing period. The key here is to minimise aerobic deterioration of silage at any time. Waste not, want not.
At Silage Pit Face:
Ensure Shear Grab is well maintained, in perfect working order with good hydraulic pressure. Blades to be kept sharpened, tines need to be secure and steady. Regular maintenance is needed.
Use any silage or silage bales left over from last year first. Ensure there are no moulds on silage. Dump any bales with excessive moulds.
Use any baled silage on farm first for housed stock. Avoid opening silage pits until there is enough stock in sheds to move across the entire face of the pit when removing a full line of silage blocks. Moving too slowly across the pit face will lead to aerobic deterioration of silage across the pit face.
Keep silage pit face straight, neat and tidy when cutting out blocks. This will help reduce aerobic deterioration. Any fallen silage from pit face or shear grab should be gathered up with a silage fork and fed to stock. This needs to be carried out after every use of the shear grab.