Silage pits are not being rolled enough according to Animal Nutritionist, Charlie Purcell of KK Agri in Goresbridge in Kilkenny.

Speaking at a recent farm walk of Kepak’s feedlot in Clonee which Purcell advises, he said silage contractors are not in the business of managing pits and it’s up to the farmer to insist that the pit is rolled enough.

“What’s the best additive for pits – it’s more diesel in the tank and more time spent rolling the pit.”

Purcell said that additives do work and can be hugely effective but stressed that if the construction of the pit is managed correctly they’re not necessary in most cases

“It cost a lot of money to make silage. It’s best to optimise it when we get it into the yard.

“The first thing you have got to do with any silage pit be it grass, maize or whole crop is compaction.

“You can’t press it enough,” he said.


“Clean pit face also important.”

According to Purcell, if you walk up to any pit of silage and you can put your fingers into the pit there is secondary fermentation going on behind. This, he said, will impact significantly on the quality of the silage in the pit.

Wastage on the corners is something that he said is also unnecessary if the pit is rolled correctly.

Purcell also highlighted the importance of managing the pit correctly once opened. He said, a clean pit face is vitally important to maintaining the silages quality and noted that even on days when temperatures are high, heat should not be coming of the face of the pit.