A simple way to reduce silage pit wastage and save money

The silage season is in full swing and many farmers are busy saving valuable feed supplies for use over the winter months.

Two important steps in the process that warrant your full attention are rolling and sealing the pit. These are necessary to reduce silage wastage and to ensure the resulting pit silage is of top quality.

But, despite the best efforts of many farmers, it’s difficult to preserve the silage at the top of the pit.

This happens due to two reasons. Firstly, air pockets often remain between the grass and the cover. This creates an ideal environment for harmful bacteria to grow and flourish.

These bacteria can result in poor silage preservation and will lead to increased wastage at the top of the pit when you open it next winter.

Secondly, heat is produced during the fermentation process. This heat rises and carries water vapour to the top of the clamp.

This water vapour condenses when it reaches the plastic covering, making the silage at the top of the pit wetter and more difficult to preserve.

The combination of air, heat and wetter silage provide an ideal environment for yeasts and fungi to multiply.

These consume the nutrients present in the silage, causing it to rot and form the black layer of waste often seen in silage pits.

The cost of waste

Producing a crop of silage can be expensive, especially when fertiliser and harvesting costs are factored in, so it’s important to minimise the waste produced.

Research shows that it takes 18in of settled silage to produce 6in of waste. In a typical 30ftx50ft clamp, this could result in 50t of the silage having to be dumped.

At a conservative value of €25/t, this results in a financial loss of €1,250 to the farmer involved. This excludes the extra time and labour required to remove the waste from the pit.

A simple way to reduce waste

However, there is a simple way to reduce the amount of waste produced through the use of SilaSave – a unique blend of organic acids and mould inhibitors.

SilaSave, developed by Inform Nutrition, is simply applied to the top and shoulders of the pit after rolling and prior to covering.

The application of SilaSave at the recommended rate (500g/yd²) results in a reaction between the grass, the SilaSave and the water vapour under the cover of the pit.

Key benefits:

  • Improved preservation at the surface.
  • Improved mould and fungi inhibition at the surface.
  • Saving valuable winter feed.
  • Reducing surface waste on your silage pit.
  • Reducing labour at feeding time over the winter.
  • Saving money – SilaSave provides a 6:1 return on investment.

As the reaction occurs, the product seeps down through the top 18in of the pit. This preserves the top layer of the pit and inhibits the growth of harmful yeasts and fungi at the surface – thus reducing the quantity of waste silage produced.

Apart from the significant saving in terms of waste silage, there is a significant saving in terms of animal health, time and labour required in cleaning off the surface of the pit prior to feeding.

Typically it takes four to five buckets (€45/bucket) of SilaSave to cover the surface of a 30ftx50ft pit. At a cost of approximately €225, the resulting reduction in waste provides a return on investment of almost 6:1.

Find out more

For more information on SilaSave or to find your local stockist please contact the representative in your region.

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