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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Immediate Use of Forage from a Silo and Its Effect on Quality

item Muck, Richard

Submitted to: ASAE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 9, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Especially on small farms with tower silos, farmers often feed out from silos daily even during the filling process. While this is not recommended, the cost of doing this is not known. Alfalfa (26, 35, 36, 47, 66% DM) and corn (31, 38% DM) were ensiled in 15 cm dia. x 152 cm long PVC silos to compare the consequences of immediately feeding from a silo (5 and d10 cm/day) vs. allowing the crop to ferment normally over 14 d. The pH in the daily removed treatments rapidly showed signs of fermentation, particularly the wetter the crop. Temperatures 5 cm below the open face also dropped with time in the daily removed treatments reaching the temperatures in covered treatments within 7 d except in the 66% DM alfalfa. However, yeast counts were elevated in the corn silage trials and the drier alfalfa trials across all treatments still at day 14, indicating possible feedbunk stability problems. In the wet alfalfa trials (<40% DM), yeast counts were below detectable level in all treatments at day 14, indicating stable silages. Thus while feeding immediately from a silo is not recommended, problems in alfalfa can be minimized by ensiling at <40% DM at the top of the silo and removing forage at a high rate.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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