Safety First as Silage Harvest Gets Underway

Safety First as Silage Harvest Gets Underway
9/18/2017

In the rush to harvest corn silage, safety often takes a back seat. Don’t let speed compromise safety.

“In the farming community, every year we hear stories of on-farm accidents while working around silage that affect both workers and bystanders, regardless of their age and experience,” notes Bob Charley, Ph.D., Forage Products Management, Lallemand Animal Nutrition.

However, these tragic accidents can be prevented with strict adherence to good silage management and silage safety resources, he says.

“It is unfortunate that many people are not aware there is a danger but, in reality, there is,” says Charley. “Given the right resources and awareness of the issues, potential risks and fatalities can be understood and avoided.”

One area of silage safety issues that is often overlooked is face management. Improper face management is one of the biggest contributors to silage avalanches or cave-offs. Proper management of the face on a daily basis is crucial to safety. Plus, these practices benefit the quality and consistency of the feed, so there is no reason not to adopt them. With the right tools and resources, injury and death can be prevented by:

  • Practicing caution around silage. This includes keeping a safe distance from the face and inspecting surroundings cautiously.
  • Executing proper feedout. Never dig the bucket into the bottom of the pile: this can create an overhang that could lead to a potential silage avalanche. Additionally, never drive the unloader parallel to, and in close proximity of, the feedout face in an over-filled bunker or pile.
  • Use caution when removing plastic, tires, tire sidewalls or gravel bags. When working in, around or on a pile, always wear a harness connected to a safety line and bring a buddy to watch out for you.

Producers can request these free resources by contacting their Lallemand Animal Nutrition representative or by visiting http://QualitySilage.com/.  A quick safety reference guide is also available here http://qualitysilage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Safety_TechBulletin_091815.pdf

Source: Lallemand Animal Nutrition, Dairy Herd Management. 

Tags: Silage, Silage Safety