Foreign Objects in Silage by Trevor Schoorl

Foreign Objects in Silage by Trevor Schoorl
June 16, 2015 Comments Off on Foreign Objects in Silage by Trevor Schoorl Forage Harvesting,Rural Services,Silage Charmaine Acworth

Foreign Objects In Silage by Trevor Schoorl, Lallemand Animal Nutrition Pty Ltd

Foreign objects in paddocks or cow’s feed are not humorous issues, they cost everybody time and money.  In a silage system foreign objects can be classified into two distinct areas: 

  1. The Paddock and;
  2. The Cow’s Feed. 

Let’s start with those found in the paddock and the effects these can have on your silage system.  Paddock foreign objects cause inefficiencies in the harvesting process of your silage which ultimately leads to unhappy contractors, unhappy farmers and poorer quality silage, therefore lower production.


  • Wash Outs/Gullies;
  • Steel Objects – Mower Blades, Electric Fence posts, Wire, Rake Tynes, Nails, Bolts;
  • Rocks and Holes;
  • Irrigation Hydrants/Taps;
  • Logs, Wood, Fence Posts, Tree Branches;
  • Dead Animals (Botulism).

All these objects cause a slowing down in the silage making process, crops continue to mature, which leads to a poorer quality silage and lower production from your animals.  Apart from these outcomes, the damage to the machinery is very expensive for your contractors.

Problems foreign objects cause your contractor:     

  • Increased fuel consumption as the job takes longer;
  • Thousands of dollars in repairs to machinery and equipment;
  • New tyres/repairs;
  • Down time for repairing machinery leads to:
  • Poorer quality silage;
  • Poorer quality silage for next customers, as now everybody is behind schedule and optimum ensiling times;
  • Increased labour expenses as now employees are waiting for repairs to be done.

Problems foreign objects cause  the customer:  

  • Decreased silage quality due to crop being past optimum quality ensiling time;
  • Decreased animal performance–due to poorer quality feed;
  • Animal death/poor performance due to steel, sand, stones, glass or wood;
  • Irritating or damaging the digestive tract of the animal;
  • Increased harvesting costs;
  • Loss of contractor.

Helpful Hints to Help Address these issues:

  • Maintain paddocks in good condition, clean up rocks, wood, old fences etc;
  • Remove tree branches;
  • Grade laneways, tracks for trucks – more efficient movement between paddock and pit;
  • Have good access to your pit – size and turning of trucks is more efficient;
  • Mark irrigation hydrants, taps, holes, rocks;
  • Put magnets on feed out equipment *remember not all foreign objects are in your silage paddock or silage. (Hay & Grain and other feedstuffs also have problems);
  • Insert magnets in cows;
  • Have paddocks, pits and roads ready before your contractor gets to you;
  • Work and communicate closely with your silage contractor, dairy/beef advisors and silage consultants.

As Australian animal industries continue to intensify these issues will become more prevalent.  For more information please contact Trevor Schoorl from Lallemand Animal Nutrition on 0427 715 938

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