Overfilled bunkers — besides being a safety concern — increase feed loss, says Brian Holmes, agricultural engineer at the University of Wisconsin- Madison.

Holmes uses this example to illustrate his point: Let’s say you built a bunker with 8-foot walls. Based on your herd size and other factors, this size allows you to remove 6 inches of silage per day. Now, if you overfilled this bunker an additional 8 feet, you actually reduce the removal rate to 3 inches per day, Holmes says. This makes it difficult to keep ahead of spoilage — especially in hot weather — and that increases your rate of dry matter loss.