When it comes to making silage, Keith Bolsen, professor emeritus at Kansas State University, has seen his share of mistakes over the years. Here are some of the top errors he frequently sees happen on farms.

  • Overfilled bunkers and gigantic drive-over piles Each poses a huge safety risk from tractor rollovers and silage avalanches. “We have got to start taking silage safety seriously today,” says Bolsen.
  • Applying silage inoculant when you weigh To get a good, uniform application, inoculant should be applied at the forage harvester.
  • Not enough pack tractors Many operations will see an improvement in silage quality from adding another pack tractor.
  • Not covered, or poorly covered bunkers and piles This leads to an excessive amount of surface-spoiled silage. Research at Kansas State has documented dry matter losses of 65 percent in uncovered bunkers compared to just 12 percent dry matter losses in a well-covered bunker silo.