You often put in some late nights harvesting alfalfa, and it could be tempting to let the silage piles sit until the following morning. But that could cost you money. It’s really best to seal the piles or bunkers as soon as possible in order to cut storage losses.

Researchers at KansasStateUniversity have found that storage losses mount the longer it takes to seal silage: 

By sealing immediately after filling with a good covering — 5-mil plastic overlaid with tires that touch one another — dry-matter losses in the top two feet of corn silage amounted to 16 percent after 180 days of storage, compared to 24 percent when the silage was sealed seven days after filling, according to Keith Bolsen, professor emeritus at KansasStateUniversity.

And for alfalfa silage, dry-matter losses in the top one and one-half feet doubled — 16 percent compared to 8 percent — when silage was sealed seven days after filling compared to immediately upon filling.