My next phone call went to Mark Sulc, Extension forage specialist. My question to Mark dealt specifically with transferring silage from one silo to another farm silo or pile. To answer this question, Mark referred to a fact sheet on this topic from the University of Wisconsin (UW) Extension forage team.

According to this fact sheet, this type of silage moving and handling can result in both good and bad experiences. There will be loss of both nutritive and DM value because of the introduction of oxygen into the transferred silage. The severity of the loss depends upon the quality of the corn silage to begin with, and factors within the transfer process.

The goal in either transferring silage or feeding silage is to minimize the heating and resulting spoilage that will occur once oxygen is introduced. Therefore, if silage is to be transferred from one farm to another, it should be done during periods of cold weather to reduce heating.

Once the silage arrives at its destination, it should be put into a bunker silo, or pile and re-packed to exclude oxygen. Covering the pile after packing will also help to reduce spoilage.

In some cases, adding a propionic acid-based additive can reduce the growth of yeasts and molds. According the UW fact sheet, these products are usually added at a rate of about 4 lbs./ton of as-fed silage. Finally, the transfer and transport of the silage should be done as quickly as possible. The shorter the distance between farms, the better.