A similar process should be established for any silage and other forages grown and harvested at the farm.
Several factors related to storage facilities and feed and commodity handling impact shrink losses. These are typically related to weather, especially when using open commodity sheds, as well as the presence of rodents and birds. Attention to cleanliness and feed area organization are critical.
• Impact of different storage designs. Much has been written about the advantages of storing ingredients in upright bins compared to open-sided commodity sheds, but flat storage systems are usually preferred for high inclusion-rate ingredients. Also, flat commodity bays are usually recommended for protein mixes with high levels of liquid fat or molasses.
However, other ingredients or feeds should be kept in upright bins, typically limiting shrink losses to 1%-2%, compared to 5%-15% with open-sided commodity bays.
• Silage storage and extraction. Proper silage confection and face management reduce shrink losses. Silage extraction and face management training is critical. Also, weighing what goes in and out of each silage bunk or pile is the most accurate way of keeping good feed inventory.
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