Silage harvest may be over, but contaminated runoff from silage piles and bunkers remains a threat any time precipitation hits the feed, says Natalie Rector with Michigan State University Extension. Here are some ways to minimize the production of contaminated runoff:
Practice good face management: Maintain a smooth vertical feedout face. Avoid knocking down more feed than is needed on a given day.
Be meticulous: Avoid piling waste or excess feed on the silage pad. Maintain a smooth pad surface and clean up spilled feed with a broom or scraper on a daily basis. A clean surface is especially important when precipitation is in the forecast to minimize the production of contaminated runoff.
Plan for emergencies: Make sure you have a plan in place in the event that you harvest and store forage that’s too wet. Look into options for collecting post-harvest silage leachate. Simple solutions, such as using sawdust to soak up the leachate until it stops running, can also be utilized.