Silage quality can deteriorate rapidly during feedout. The exposed silage surface is open to air (oxygen) for long periods of time. In the presence of oxygen, yeast cells and mold spores that were dormant in the anaerobic environment can become active. Yeast growth is the primary cause of silage heating and is the primary cause of DM and energy losses at feedout.
Key steps to reducing DM loss, maintaining silage quality at feedout, and minimizing health and fertility problems are:
- Use proper harvesting and storage techniques
- Feed at least 6 inches of silage per day from a bunker silo face; 4 inches per day in summer, 2 inches per day in winter, for upright silos (see Figure below for equations to calculate removal rates)
- Use good face management
- DO NOT feed moldy silage; it can cause serious health problems and/or production losses!