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Competency Area 8: Concentrated source pollution AEM

PO 79. Explain management factors that reduce or prevent the potential of stored silage to leach.

Humid climatic conditions exasperate the production of silage leachate. On an equal mass basis, grass ensilage produces more fermentable leachate than corn because of the finer chop size and higher moisture content at harvest. However, compared to corn, grass ensilage is usually put into storage at a denser pack during summer months, so less total leachate runoff tends to escape during rain events.

Management factors to reduce leachate volume and runoff from silage bunkers are to harvest crops at maturity and drier moisture content, avoid filling during rainy periods, and to cover the bunkers as quickly as possible.