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3 things to do when your silage starts to heat up

May 12, 2022
3 things to do when your silage starts to heat up


As temperatures rise, wild yeast will begin to awaken in silages, resulting in decreased forage stability, including in TMR. When this happens, we will notice activity in the silages that was not present during the long, cold winter. 

Wild yeast can create many problems for milk production, such as digestive problems for the cow. When active, it begins to feed on the energy in the corn silage, reducing what is available to the herd. In addition, the silage will start to heat up, which will increase the pH and deterioration. This becomes even more of a problem when Mucor and Penicillium moulds are present. 

Common symptoms caused by wild yeast in silage include: 

  • Inconsistent and more liquid manure 
  • Decreased dry matter consumption (DMC) 
  • Decreased milk fat 
  • Reduced milk production 
  • Adversely impacted rumen function and cow performance 

So, when this happens, what can we do about it? 

  1. Test your feed 

It does not matter if your corn silage is stored in a silo, bag, bunker or stover; if environmental conditions allow, wild yeast and spoilage can occur in any storage unit. 

These issues can also develop very quickly. An analysis conducted in the fall at eight-hour intervals saw the yeast grow from 18,000 CFU to 410,000 CFU. Within two weeks, yeast had invaded almost 35% of the silage. 


  1. Properly manage your storage 

The next step is to evaluate the face of the silage, looking specifically for visible signs of heating or deterioration. This can be done by you or a nutritionist, but an Alltech on-farm representative can also help identify any signs of potential concern using a thermal camera. 


  1. Throw out spoiled feed 

Next, do not be afraid to throw out suspect forages and spoiled feed. None of us want to be wasteful by throwing away feed every day, but if you feed poor quality forages to your animals, their performance will be negatively affected. 


Feeding live yeast 

In conclusion, feeding quality live yeast, like Yea-Sacc®, can help cows overcome the negative effects of wild yeast. Yea-Sacc strengthens the rumen by modulating the pH, removing oxygen, eliminating the stress caused by wild yeast, and supporting overall rumen function. 

Yea-Sac Farm Pak can easily be added to the farm at a rate of 50 g/t/d and is available in 20 kg bags.