When designing storage for silage, make sure the apex of any pile or bunker silo is never higher than the reach of the equipment used to remove silage at feedout. So says silage consultant and retired Kansas State University forage management specialist Keith Bolsen.

Bolsen has countless times come across employees or consultants discussing problems or taking core samples just inches from the face of a partially fed-out pile or bunker that towers over them.

“A few seconds after I took this picture, I ran up and said, Ì’Guys, I’ve got to ask you to get back’,” Bolsen says.

Other common mistakes waiting to turn into accidents:

  • Using loader buckets to take core samples from halfway up the side of tall feedout faces;
  • Unloading chopped forage on top of an unwieldy bunker or pile;
  • Working solo at a silage storage site.

For more photos and information, see the article “Handle Silage Safely” in the February issue of Hay & Forage Grower.

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension's Ray Huhnke, ag engineer, offers a concise Bunker Silo Sizing and Management factsheet.

The University of Wisconsin offers a Silage Pile Sizing Calculator.