Ask the Quality Silage Experts: Covering Silage

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Q. Does it matter what quality of cover I use to protect my silage? 

A. Good quality plastic is an important element. It can help get the most out of the time and investment put into covering your silage bunker or pile. Covering silage is imperative to save producers the expenses associated with dry matter (DM) and nutrient losses and issues due to feeding spoiled silage.  

In addition to reducing losses from silage shrink, the resulting silage is more consistent, and of higher nutritional and hygienic quality, which helps cattle perform better and reduces health issues.

To get the most of your investment in covering and sealing, don’t skimp on plastic quality when purchasing a cover. You’ll return that expense in improved DM recovery and silage quality. 

Use a plastic that is at least five millimeters thick and dual layer — black inner and white outer — to resist deterioration. You may also want to consider using an oxygen-barrier plastic film. Be sure there is sufficient weight to keep plastic in place and prevent air infiltration, especially in the seams and edges, and don’t forget to inspect the cover on a regular basis and repair any damage immediately. 

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