Ask the Quality Silage Experts: Feedout Rate

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Q. How do I find the right feedout rate for my silage pile?

A. When silage is opened at feedout, it is exposed to air (oxygen) that allows yeasts that survived the ensiling process to grow. This can occur within a few hours after exposure to air.

The ideal feedout rate helps minimize the amount of air penetrating the silage face, which is called aerobic interface. Thus, always keep feedout rates high enough to prevent silage heating. A basic rule of thumb is to remove a minimum of 6" of silage per day from the surface. Increase the feed-out rate in the summer when ambient temperatures are higher or if the silage is poorly packed.

Good management practices during harvest and ensiling will help minimize aerobic spoilage. Using a proven silage inoculant containing Lactobacillus buchneri NCIMB 40788 reduces the growth of yeasts, the initiators of spoilage. In fact, L. buchneri 40788 applied at 400,000 CFU per gram of silage or 600,000 CFU per gram of high-moisture corn (HMC) has been uniquely reviewed by the FDA and allowed to claim improved aerobic stability.

For more information about feedout management, ask the silage quality experts on Twitter, Facebook or visit


The Silage Dr.



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