In autumn and winter, opened silages are especially prone to weather influences. Rain and snow often cause silage surfaces to soil, resulting in hygienically compromised silages (see image on the left). Find useful tips for optimal silage hygiene here.
Tip 1: Clear away removal residue
Remove any loose material from silo faces. Soiled silage residue from previous removals can contaminate the silage stack and cause reheating. Images taken with a thermal imaging camera illustrate this very clearly: The left image shows clean silage, while the image on the right shows silage that has heated due to residue along the silo face.
Tip 2: Avoid opening the silage stack more than necessary
The gradual intrusion of rain water or snow into the silage stack causes mould and silage spoilage, because oxygen is then also able to penetrate the silage stack from above and rain leaches stabilising fermentation acids out towards the bottom silage layers. It is essential to avoid this by only uncovering silage as required rather than in advance.
Tip 3: Avoid air entering between the silage stack and silage film
For silage stacks that face towards the prevailing wind direction it is particularly important to protect them by a moveable oxygen barrier, which can, for example, consist of sand bags placed at the level of the silage face to form a horizontal barrier. Every time more silage is uncovered, the barrier must be placed further back to prevent air from getting in between the silage film and stack, as any air entering the stack would promote the development of moulds and yeasts and therefore result in reheating.