2013 - Volume #37, Issue #2, Page #20[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Simple Water Cover Seals Top Of Silo
Fisher uses a conventional plastic cover that’s 4 ft. larger than his 14-ft. dia. silo. Before Fisher puts the cover in place he spreads the pile smooth, with the sides about 12 in. higher than the center. He mixes a small amount of salt with the silage around the outside edge near the wall, then he lays the plastic cover on top of the pile. The plastic is held in place with J rods spaced about 3 to 4 ft. apart around the wall. The J rods, made of 1/4-in. metal rod, are 3 ft. long with a 4-in. bend to form a J at one end. A flat washer is welded about 2 in. down from the pointed end. The rods hold the plastic in place and against the wall, about 2 ft. above the top of the silage.
After the plastic and J rods are in position Fisher covers the plastic with water to a depth of 18 to 24 in. “The weight from about 2000 gal. of water seals that plastic tight and packs the silage in the process. The depression in the center of the silage pile puts more water weight in the center so the pile settles evenly,” Fisher says.
When he’s ready to use the silage, Fisher siphons the water off the top with a water hose and removes the plastic to reveal fresh silage with no mold damage. “We’ve used this method for 10 years and it always seals the pile completely, packs it down evenly and keeps spoilage to a minimum,” says Fisher. “We know for a fact that we’re saving 5 percent of our feed due to less heating and storage loss, which is worth a lot of money. The silage is very consistent and very palatable because it ferments more uniformly.”
Fisher lives in an area of Pennsylvania that can have some real cold weather in January, but he keeps the doors closed and says there’s enough warmth from the silage pile to keep the water from freezing.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jesse S. Fisher, 347 School Lane Rd., Gap, Penn. 17527 (ph 717 442-8958).
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