From planting to feeding, there is a lot to consider when it comes to growing, and keeping a high quality silage.
“I think over the years we’ve learned that we have to be patient when we’re harvesting to get the silage off at the right time,” says Ryan Kasko of Kasko Cattle Co. “Especially corn — I think I’ve been prone to taking it off too early and having too high moisture.”
Kasko farms in southern Alberta and says they now aim for 65 percent moisture, and use a corn processor to crack kernels. He also says it’s important to do a good job of packing, manage the pit well, and only uncover as you need it.
As anyone who has been a part of a silage harvest crew, or who has organized one can attest, time is of the essence. Crop conditions can change quickly, and the all-important pit needs to be covered as soon as possible.
“One of the more common [mistakes] is stretching it out over a long period of time — not having maybe the adequate equipment or manpower to get the job done in a timely manner,” says Leighton Kolk of Kolk Farms Ltd.
For large pits, Kolk suggests covering as you go, and hiring out tire-throwing to young muscles in the community.
Kasko and Kolk joined RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney and Jason Stroeve for this episode of the Beef School, offering some of their key learnings, tips for harvesting high quality silage, and ideas for quickly and effectively covering the pit:
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