Using silage covers is a simple process that results in more than the added benefit of good-tasting silage. The idea of silage as covers, however, was unknown to most farmers until some years ago. Today, many farmers use the covers as part of their production, especially those who have high silage needs.
Silage production can range from a few hundred pounds of silage to tens of thousands of pounds of silage. When cattle are raised on silage for their use, it is known as silage farming.
For this reason, silage covers are essential. Silage covers help farmers increase their yield by using silage, by adding a cover to their silage fields to limit the damage done by grazing animals, and by protecting the silage from wind and temperature changes.
Silage cover provides protection for both the silage and the cows. The silage protects the grain from animal hoof wear and prevents damage from biting flies. The silage also provides warmth for the cow as it burrows into the silage, making the growth cycle easier for the animal.
Silage wraps are typically constructed of PVC pipes or leather straps. PVC silage wraps are trendy because they allow for easy handling and do not need extensive maintenance. Another advantage to PVC covers is that they are weatherproof, so they will not need to be replaced too often. Some wraps may also be provided with a protective pad to keep from absorbing water when rain does come through.
For an even more advanced cover, farmers may use a unique leather strap. However, this kind of strap is generally made out of rubber or rubberized plastic, which has its disadvantages, especially when the cover becomes wet.
Cows and other livestock are drawn to the smell of cedar and cotton, which are the two primary fabrics used for silage covers. Cedar and cotton are each synthetic fabrics, which were not initially made for feeding animals. However, farmers soon realized that cedar and cotton would be an excellent choice for wraps because they do not absorb water, making them ideal for silage covers.
Various chemicals are used to prevent insects and animals from eating the silage. These chemicals are a bad choice because they strip the silage of its natural flavour. Instead, farmers should use wraps with materials that are resistant to chemical treatment, such as cotton or cedar.
The difference between an open and closed cover is an important one. An open cover is a single, solid cover, while a closed cover is divided into sections that have sections of fabric on each side. Cows are attracted to open covers, while closed wraps repel them.
Open covers also add convenience to silage production, because the silage can be easily removed from the silage cover without needing to wash it and then dry it. For that reason, open covers are often used on all of the silage during the final stages of production.
While most silage is produced as Silage covers, they are only used to limit the amount of damage that the animals do to the silage. In all other respects, open covers are very similar to closed silage covers.