Floor option avoids bin and loft problems
KEEP it simple and build flexibility into straight-feed storage systems, says Keenans northern-based feed specialist Donald Brown.
"Clean, dry and vermin free – those are three priorities when dealing with feed storage," says Mr Brown but he does not believe that bins, as opposed to floor storage, offer better environmental control of feed.
"If high standards of storage can be met there is nothing to beat floor storage. You can see exactly what you are dealing with and can keep a much closer check on feed quality compared with material stored out of sight."
He says any system that can be cleaned out easily is the safest method of avoiding contamination. Bins and lofts above parlours can present hidden problems.
"Even though they appear to be vermin and bird proof, things can be going on inside a feed loft that would not be tolerated on a floor.
"Lofts are often forgotten; its out of sight and out of mind and that can spell trouble. And when you are restricted to bin storage you are limited to materials that can be blown into it."
Mr Brown says more use of blends has removed the need for many producers to store five or six different dietary ingredients.
"Moist mixes using a range of ingredients such as Grainbeet, bread, washed potatoes or beet pulp are proving popular and silage pits can be used for storage.
"Many silage pits at 60ft are too wide and there can be problems where deterioration starts at the face because it takes so long to work into the pit depth."
Its worth dividing the pit into two, using free-standing partitions, to store a moist feed mix in just one half, Mr Brown adds. *
• Should be flexible.
• Must be easy to clean.
• Floor stores acceptable.