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January 2005 Silage Tips - sponsored by Mycogen Seeds

Agriculture.com Staff 07/06/2010 @ 5:22pm

When standing near the face of a bunker silo, be sure to exercise caution because avalanches can occur. In one case, a Wisconsin producer is now a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair because a 6-ton silage mass fell and slammed him against a skid-steer.

"I am going to stand back twice the height," says Keith Bolsen, professor emeritus of forage preservation at Kansas State University and now a consultant in Austin, Texas. In other words, if the bunker silo face is 14 feet high, heÕs going to stand back 28 feet.

At a minimum, stand back one and one-half times the height, he adds. That idea has been incorporated in the graphic shown below. The graphic also assumes the danger is greatest when the height of the bunker silo exceeds 7 feet.

When standing near the face of a bunker silo, be sure to exercise caution because avalanches can occur. In one case, a Wisconsin producer is now a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair because a 6-ton silage mass fell and slammed him against a skid-steer.

USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists recently discovered that the fungus endophyte Acremonium zeae may be a new tool against some corn molds. The fungus produces substances called pyrrocidines that disrupt the Aspergillus and Fusarium moldsÕ ability to infect ripening corn kernels. These molds cause mycotoxins and other crop problems, like stem rot.

Winter is a good time to assess your silage-management goals and make adjustments for next harvest season, says Joe Harrison, professor of dairy nutrition and nutrient-management specialist at Washington State University. Ask yourself these questions:

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