After harvested forages are placed in a silo, they often produce gases during the early stages of the fermentation process. Silo gases are difficult to detect because they are almost invisible, but signs of such gases may include:

  • the formation of a faint yellow or red haze that appears from the top of a conventional silo to the bottom of the ladder chute, 
  • staining on the silo and silage, and
  • a bleach-like odor that may be present even at the base of the silo and in the milking parlor.

If you detect silo gases, leave the area immediately. Physical reactions to silo gases may not be noticeable immediately after your exposure, but damage to your lungs may have already occurred.

Learn more from the Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community.

Source: "Dangers of silo gases," Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice, 2012.