Feed Lot

AUG 2017

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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10 FEED•LOT  August 2017 F eeding silage is a routine part of cattle feeding, and silage safety should be a big part of that routine. As farmers and feedyards restock silage pits, early fall is a great time for a silage safety refresher. Although most people consider a silage avalanche the biggest risk around silage piles -- and it is a very important one -- other risks abound and should not be ignored. Dangers like tractor or truck rollovers, ma- chinery entanglement and falls are also possible. Es- tablishing a silage safety plan should be included in a general feed yard safety program. Dr. Keith Bolson, Professor Emeritis, Kansas State University, has cam- paigned for silage safety alongside his wife for over a decade. They are proponents of regular safety meet- ings at feed yards. "We cannot stop avalanches from happening, and they are impossible to predict, but we can prevent peo- ple from being under them," said Dr. Keith Bolsen. Lallemand Animal Nutrition has developed a silage safety basics video that is available on YouTube to as- sist in training programs. FL Silage Safety Guidelines 1. Never allow people to approach the feedout face. No exceptions! 2. A rule-of-thumb is never stand closer to the silage face than three times its height. 3. Suffocation is a primary concern and a likely cause of death in any silage avalanche. Follow the "buddy rule" and never work in or near a bunker or pile alone. 4. Bunker silos and drive-over piles should not be filled higher than the unloading equipment can reach safely, and typically, a large unloader can reach a height of 12 to 14 feet. 5. Use caution when removing plastic or oxy- gen-barrier film, tires, tire sidewalls or gravel bags near the edge of the feedout face. 6. Do not remove surface spoiled silage from bunkers and piles that are filled to an unsafe height. 7. Use proper unloading technique, which in- cludes shaving silage down the feedout face. 8. Never dig the bucket into the bottom of the silage. Undercutting creates an overhang of silage that can loosen and tumble to the floor. 8. Never drive the unloader parallel to and in close proximity of the feedout face in an over- filled bunker or pile. 9. When sampling silage, take samples from a front-end loader bucket after it is moved to a safe distance from the feedout face. 10. Never ride in a front-end loader bucket. 11. Never park vehicles or equipment near the feedout face. 12. A warning sign 'Danger! Silage Face Might Collapse' should be posted around the perimeter of bunker silos and drive-over piles. 13. Avoid being complacent! Always pay atten- tion to your surroundings and never think that an avalanche cannot happen! 14. Every farm, feedlot, and beef cattle opera- tion should have safety policies and procedures for their silage program, and they should schedule regular meetings with all their employees to dis- cuss safety. Courtesy of Dr. Keith Bolsen Brush Up on Silage Safety FEEDLOT FOCUS

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