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Monday, July 7, 2014

Silage - Handling Waste, Spoilage and Rejects

One of the problems with feeding out silage is the waste that results. If the quality is fantastic the girls will almost lick the feeder and the ground around the feeder as clean as a whistle. But generally they manage to drop bits around the feeder as they pull out their mouthful. Then they trample on the dropped product and if the ground is a bit wet it becomes a mess.

If it is poor quality they tend to be even more wasteful. So this is a good indicator of how well the silage was made.

In the past if the ground was a bit muddy the waste would be spread out in a light mulch to cover the bare dirt and some grass seed added helping the ground recover.

At the moment things are a bit dry and there is little ground damage. In addition this batch of silage is of variable quality and the waste in one particular case 90%. Rather than just leave it to rot down in a big pile it has been loaded on the ute and brought to HHF.

What you see in the photograph is just a portion of the waste from this past week. It is all that could fit on the ute in one load. Yet more to come.

Wasted Silage

So what to do with it all? I'm sure you can guess. More compost! The challenge will be to come up with innovative concoctions for the various layers needed to make a hot compost. This could mean a lot of hand mowing to get a balance of material.

If all the compost bins are filled, the backup plan is building a temporary compost bin using mulch hay bales. This could be a busy period at HHF. That is the problem when you don't wish to see all this wonderful plant food wasted.

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