Covering techniques and economics
Chris Wacek-Driver, an independent consultant and owner/founder of Forage Innovations, LLC, joined Meghan Gebhardt of Silostop for a virtual presentation in early August. Their talk covered the Silostop products which are most popular in the United States: Silostop Orange, Max Plus, Anti-UV Covers, and Gravelbags. Meghan shared application tips for best results, including a suggestion to wear flat-soled shoes when covering the silage pit. Sneakers or running shoes provide traction without potential damage to the plastic.
Next, Chris discussed a few key management techniques to get the best possible silage. She stressed the importance of covering forage with an oxygen barrier plastic as soon as it is chopped and packed. She discussed the increased need for covers to protect from hail damage, birds, and rodents. And Chris pointed out that Gravelbags seal much better along the edges of a bunker, while draining better than tires.
Finally, Chris examined the economics, or ROI, of using Silostop. She gave a quick demonstration of what a salesperson can do “on the back of a napkin” to walk through the potential savings to a producer. This practice works on busy farms when you have only a few minutes to speak with a producer. We don’t want to take up precious time on-farm, but we do want to show how Silostop can save producers significant money and labor.