29 November 1996

Stack bales on end

SILAGE bales stored on their ends produce less effluent, are better preserved and have less visual mould growth than bales stored on their side.

That is according to Raymond Jones, researcher at IGER Aberystwyth. In trials reported in Novembers Signet Beef and Sheep Notes, bales stored on their end – a system used in Ireland – produced only 18 litres of effluent a bale, compared with 24 litres from bales stored in a single layer on their side, the system most commonly used in Britain.

"When wrapped bales are stored on their side, the weight of silage as it ferments encourages the joints to slide open, allowing air to enter the bale and cause spoilage."

But the weight of bales stored on their ends applies more uniform pressure to the joints, sealing them more firmly and avoiding the risk of them sliding apart, concludes Dr Jones. &#42