Everyone in the silage industry acknowledges the importance of sealing and covering a horizontal silo. Not only is the most fun job on the farm, but it also happens to be the most essential. Silage is very delicate once they are harvested from the fields. They need the right environment and temperature to become healthy animal feed. However, despite all of this, there are still farms that continue operating their silage production without prioritising on covering their silos. If you’re one of them, then it’s time you learn the importance of covering your bunker silos with a silage wrap.
The Importance of Covering Your Silo
Is it essential to cover the bunker? Does it pay in the end? Of course, it does. That’s why it’s so crucial and necessary in the first place. When silage isn’t tightly covered, moisture and air can enter quickly into the silos and affect the ensiling process. What happens is that the quality of your silage will decrease, which will contribute to low-quality fodder in the end with a lot of spoils.
It will also create an excellent potential for excessive dry matter (DM) and nutrient loss, mouldy feed and other potential problems. These can potentially ruin an entire batch of silage, which will also waste your time. However, all of this can be negated when you start the habit of covering your silos with a silage wrap.
Studies That Prove the Relevance of this Case
Studies at the University of Adelaide have reported at least three per cent loss in dry matter (DM) from the top three feet of silage in uncovered bunker silos compared to the ones that are covered with thick plastic sheets and weighted down using tires. In a 12’x80’x140′ bunker, the top three feet of silage contains roughly 672 tons of silage at a density of 40 pounds/ft3. That means thirty per cent loss in this top three feet will already equal 201.6 tons of silage.
If silage is currently $60 per ton, the total savings potential for lost silage is at least $12,095. This number doesn’t take into account any adverse effects that the top three feet of spoiled materials might have on DM intake, reproduction or milk production. It also doesn’t consider that additional silage is lost on the sides and closed ends of uncovered bunker silos. Overall, these losses can easily total to amount that’s around two to three per cent of the total silage volume.
So as you can see, by covering your bunker silos with a silage wrap, you can prevent all of these losses from happening and start making a change in the quality and production level of your silage. Subscribe to our newsletter for more agricultural updates.