The recent death of Wisconsin farmers in a silage silo is a heartbreaking reminder of the importance of silage safety.
“In the farming community, every year we hear stories of on-farm accidents while working around silage that affect both workers and bystanders, regardless of their age and experience,” says Bob Charley, Ph.D., Forage Products Management, Lallemand Animal Nutrition. “It is unfortunate that many people are not aware there is a danger but, in reality, there is.”
Here are three silage safety tips Charley encourages producers to keep in mind all year long.
• Use caution around silage. Anyone working around a silage pile should keep a safe distance from the face at all times.
• Implement proper feed out. Avoid digging the bucket of the loader into the bottom of the pile, this could lead to an avalanche. In addition, Charley advises farmers not to drive the loader parallel to, and in close proximity of, the feed out face in an over-filled bunker or pile.
• Be careful when removing plastic, tires, tire sidewalls or gravel bags. It’s important to wear a harness connected to a safety line when working on a silage pile. In addition, it’s a good idea to have someone else nearby to keep an eye out for potential issues.