An example of this would be to use an oxygen-barrier film, which can be clear or transparent, followed by a standard 5- or 6-mil black-on-white polyethylene sheet.
The first layer “clings” — think household plastic wrap — to the silage surface, Burrows says. It also likes to cling to itself, so be mindful of this when working with the material.
“Go back over the top of that with the 5-mil,” he says.
You might be wondering if using two layers of black-on-white polyethylene does the same job.
Bolsen says this approach — which he recommended for many years — does not offer the same level of protection as a two-layer approach using an oxygen-barrier film.
“We’re still going to have some surface spoilage over time that’s going to need to be pitched, and it’s simply too dangerous today to even think about pitching surface spoilage.”
(Please see “Ditch the pitch” at below.)
Line the sides, too
It’s not enough just to cover and seal the top, Burrows says. Also bring the plastic down the sides of the forage.
For step-by-step directions on how to line the sidewalls of a bunker, type “Secure your sidewalls” into the “Search” box.
If you’re not ensiling and sealing your forages correctly, “then you’re certainly losing nutrients and the quality of your forages,” Burrows says. “The price of feed is so high, you can’t afford to replace those.”
To learn more about minimizing surface-spoiled silage in bunker silos and drive-over piles, type “10 spoilage stoppers” into the “Search” box.