2005 - Volume #29, Issue #2, Page #41[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
To Seal Silage In Silo Seed Down The Top With OatsLots of folks have tried lots of ways to seal silage in the silo and in pits to reduce spoilage. I knew one farmer who would top his silage with lime. It sealed, but was hard to break through.
A simple way that I've tried that really worked well was to seed down the top with oats. When I worked for a farmer with upright silos, we would blow in oats on the top, and they would sprout and put out a network of tight roots. The heat in the silo would keep them growing, and we didn't have any spoilage.
Later when I had my own place and a bunker silo, I tried plastic with tires, but if kids weren't poking holes in the plastic, the rats were eating holes in it, and the top layer usually spoiled. Then I tried oats again. I hand cast them thicker than you would seed a field. At the time, I used a moveable gate to let my cows eat their way through the pit. The first thing the cows would reach for would be the layer of oat roots, and I didn't get spoilage either. (Elmer R. Bailey, 24791 Mouser Rd., New Holland, Penn. 43145, ph 740-495-5821)
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