When properly managed and cared for, upright silos provide excellent storage for fermented feeds. By combining the use of gravity for tight forage packing and a small area exposed to air, forage quality is preserved and waste is minimal. However, when poorly maintained they can quickly become a headache.
Ensiling is a common way to store forages for dairy cattle. When done properly, ensiled forages can be stored for long periods of time and still maintain their quality. However, the ensiling process must proceed correctly in order for proper storage to be possible.
Corn silage is typically one of the main components of dairy cattle diets, often comprising between 20 to 40% of the diet dry matter. Since corn silage makes up such a large proportion of the diet, the quality of the corn silage is very important and can have a substantial impact on milk production levels. Corn silage quality can be affected by dry matter at harvest, packing density, and bunk covering but can also be altered by kernel processing.
Silage is the cornerstone of many conventional dairy rations. Maintaining quality through proper harvest, storage, and feedout is key for a successful feeding program. Once the silage is properly tucked away in the bunker and thoroughly covered it can be stored for extended periods of time until it’s opened up.
The summer is going by quickly, and before we know it, this year’s corn crop will be ready to harvest for silage. Planning ahead can help to make sure that everything is ready for the silage harvest and makes certain that the best job possible is being done to reduce shrink and ensure that the stored crop will be a great source of feed. Preparing the Storage Site Is there a clean, open area that will allow for easy filling and packing of the silage?
If you walk into your dairy barn and you can smell burgers grilling and hear steaks sizzling it might be time to look into methods to cool those girls down. As we head into the summer months and the temperature starts rising, we need to consider methods for heat abatement for our cattle. Heat stress not only affects intake, but immune function, growth, fetal development, and rumen health as well.
Calves are susceptible to heat stress as well, though it might not be as apparent as it is with older cattle. Higher temperatures can lead to decreased feed efficiency and average daily gain. Calves can also experience a lowered immune status due to the added stress of hot weather.
Forage inoculants are products that contain specific strains of anaerobic bacteria that promote forage fermentation. The premise behind forage inoculants is that they help to ensure adequate amounts of the correct types of bacteria to expedite the fermentation process. Using a microbial inoculant can be a great management tool to improve forage quality.