Spoilage of silage occurs in the peripheral areas of silos and bales due to oxygen ingress during the storage period. The loss of organic matter represents potentially digestible crop components and visibly deteriorated material is discarded as unfit for use as animal feed. The accidental inclusion of spoiled silage in the animal’s diet is a risk to animal health and can reduce livestock productivity by depressing silage intake and digestibility. Accumulated temperature above ambient during exposure of silage to air is an indicator of the likely decrease in intake. The oxygen-barrier (OB) film “Silostop” reduces silage surface spoilage by restricting oxygen permeation and the growth of moulds and butyric acid bacterial spores. Aerobic stability is also increased in silage stored in the upper layer under Silostop compared to standard polyethylene film, probably a reflection of slower development of yeasts and moulds due to restricted oxygen ingress into the outer layer of the silo prior to full exposure of silage to air during the feed-out period.
Full citation: WILKINSON, J.M. 2013. Spoiled silage. Norgrass, No. 52, pp. 34-39.
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