Silage Pile Collapse Buries and Kills Man on Michigan Dairy

A man in Michigan was killed after being buried by a silage pile that collapsed on a dairy farm.

According to the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office, John Garth Cummings, 35, of Middleville was conducting tests for his company that was subcontracting with the dairy on Nov. 30.

While Cummings was at the dairy a pile of silage broke loose from a 30 foot silage stack around 6:30 am at Red Arrow Dairy near Hartford. Cummings was found unresponsive beneath the pile by a farm worker at the dairy.  He was rushed to a nearby hospital in Watervliet and was pronounced dead.

The accident is being investigated by Michigan Department of Occupational Safety and Health office.

Silage Safety Reminder

While details are still coming out about the accident this case serves as an important reminder to always be cautious around silage piles. The risk of a silage face collapse is very real.  Always take the time to have another person with you and both of you should wear a safety vest.

To take a feed sample:

  • Knock down a sample all across the face with unloading equipment.
  • Put it in a mound away from the pile or bunker. From there you can measure heat, kernel processing, chop length, and whatever else you are looking for.
  • Take a handful from several sites and mix together for a true sample of what's going to be fed.

For more on silage safety read the following articles: