Management of a silage crop does not end once the bunker is covered. Careful feedout will help maintain the quality of feed that reaches the bunk every day.

Garner Garrison, beef products specialist for Pioneer Hi-Bred International recommends shaving a shallow layer of silage from the entire face of the pile rather than digging deeply into one part. This limits oxygen exposure for the largest surface area. Remove just the amount needed for each feeding, and avoid leaving a pile of loose silage at the base, as that pile will spoil quickly. He also suggests sampling the silage periodically through the year, partly to evaluate your success in processing and storing the crop, and also to help your nutritionist maintain a balanced ration by accounting for any change in quality or nutrient levels in the silage.

Finally, Mr. Garrison stresses that feedyard crews consider personal safety in feeding out of a bunker silo. He notes that several fatal accidents have resulted from the face of a silage pile collapsing on workers. Do not make the pile so high that workers cannot reach the top with the bucket loader. Failure to remove silage all the way to the top of the face will cause the formation of a dangerous overhang. Even if the bucket reaches the top of the pile, scraping from the bottom up can form a concave face with an overhang. Monitor the shape of the pile and remove any overhang before it becomes large enough to present a safety hazard.