Avoiding mouldy bales

11 July 1997

Avoiding mouldy bales

MOULD levels in baled silage can be reduced if bales are carried out of the field before being wrapped, says researcher Padraig OKiely.

He is based at Grange Research Institute, Dublin, where only two out of 350 bales of silage made last year contained traces of mould.

"Mould is caused by damage to the plastic which is most likely to occur when the bale is being taken to the storage site."

Plastic used for wrapping silage bales is thinner and, therefore, more prone to puncture than sheets used for clamps

"The bale can also settle out while it is in the field and during transport. This causes the plastic to stretch, creating gaps which allow air through to the bale."

Bales should, therefore, be carted to the storage site before they are wrapped.

but Dr OKiely warns the bale must not be left unwrapped overnight or secondary fermentation will occur.

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