Deft Hand Required To Get Silage Piles Right

silage pile

A deft hand is needed to get the silage piles in the right form. From Modesto, CA, this article also shares with non-farmers what silage is, how it is harvested, and why it is used as feed for dairy cows.


Who knew that silage piles — those giant mounds of dairy feed covered with plastic sheeting — could be works of art?

A delicate touch helps when managing the piles, which can degrade if too much air gets inside them.

That's why Larry Pacheco tries to minimize the exposed surface when he removes some of the feed from a pile with a tractor.

Silage, which dairy farmers make by fermenting corn or other crops for a few weeks after harvesting, has become an important feed in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and elsewhere.

And it's another example of the sophisticated work behind the seemingly simple business of producing food.

North valley farmers produced about $212 million worth of silage last year, according to county crop reports.


DairyCast update for June 15, 2010, How zoning may affect your niche or agritourism business

After a trip to Chicago last week, I am reminded once again how great the distance is between consumers and the farm. While the mileage from downtown Chicago to the nearest farm may not be long, the distance in understanding of consumers and food production is continually growing.

We need to establish education as one of our top priorities and work diligently to close this education gap that exists today. So I challenge each of us to do a little more to help consumers better understand our story of producing their food.

DairyCast 0372 - What your neighbors are saying about their silage

mp3DairyCast 0372 Show Notes:
  • Today let’s spend some time visiting with your neighbors and fellow dairy producers about their experiences growing and feeding silage.

DairyCast update for January 26, 2010, Why do some cows thrive and others crash?

Well, I am finishing up the chores then heading off to San Antonio for hopefully some sunshine, warmer weather and a great education. I hope that you have made your plans to be with us this week for the Cattle Industry Annual Convention and NCBA Trade Show.

DairyCast 0329 - What can you do with moldy corn and silage to maintain cow performance?

Download mp3DairyCast 0329 Show Notes:
  • Dr. Kathleen Emery, Nutritionist and DVM, weighs in on how we can best manage higher levels of molds and mycotoxins to maintain cow performance. 

DairyCast 0294 - New opportunities in silage and highlights from the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days

Download mp3DairyCast 0294 Show Notes:

DairyCast 0269 - Limin Kung offers tips for success in your silage program

Download mp3DairyCast 0269 Show Notes:

  • Limin Kung, Professor in the Department of Animal & Food Science at the University of Delaware, offers tips for success in your silage program.
  • Find a great video presentation from Limin Kung here

DairyCast 0266 - Matching the right hybrid with the right field

Download mp3DairyCast 0266 Show Notes:

  • Art Graves, Agronomist, share his insights on matching the right hybrids with the right fields
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