Managing Silage Bunkers in Warm Weather

Managing Silage Bunkers in Warm Weather
8/17/2017

Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Watch the Heat - Frequently monitor stored silage to make sure it isn’t heating up, especially as temperatures start to rise in the summer months. Using a compost thermometer to check for hot spots, probe several areas throughout the bunker to ensure the silage doesn’t heat more than 15°F from the day it was packed.
  • Check the Covers - Monitoring the bunker externally is just as important as internal checks. Regularly examine the bunker covering for rips or holes, as well as replace tires and sand bags that have been moved or lost. A properly covered bunker seals out air, which can spark aerobic fermentation, bunker heating and loss of valuable nutrients.
  • Look Out for Mold - Problems with mold and mycotoxin begin in the field, so monitor often to avoid issues. These field fungi do not typically grow in the anaerobic, low-pH environment found in well-managed silages. However, producing additional toxins in the storage structure can still occur.

Work with your nutritionist to decide on a practical approach to remediation of detected toxins. To read the full article on bunker management, click here.

Article from Progressive Forage, July 2017.

Tags: Management Tips, Silage