Ten minutes a day is all it takes to minimise silage waste!
To protect quality silage this winter – and feed it efficiently – Dr George Fisher of CF Fertilisers stresses the key message is simply to keep it clean. This reduces spoilage and wastage and basically involves cutting the clamp face cleanly, keeping it tidy, and getting rid of any bad silage. Remove spills often and clean out troughs and feed passages routinely.
“Cows should have a 5% surplus so that they don’t go hungry and are not licking the concrete to get the last scrap of feed. But if this isn’t cleaned out, it affects the smell of the ration and contaminates the next feed and reduces intakes,” he says.
Dr Fisher points out that finding a way to do the job in 10 minutes every day – rather than leaving it to build up so it becomes a laborious chore once a week – makes it easier for the farm team. Options include using a cut-out silage additive drum to drag along the passage, to scrape out most of the rubbish quickly, followed by a sweep.
“Tidy up the clamp as you go along. Put some bins there for sheeting or any other rubbish. Clean the clamp base every week: you don’t need to pick up much soil or old silage contamination before it turns cows off their feed,” he adds.