Self-feeding silage pit project expressions of interest

Silage can be a valuable on farm tool, allowing producers to harvest paddock feed when it is in surplus to be stored and then used at a later date when there is a feed deficit, whilst maintaining a reasonable level of nutritional quality.

Whilst contractors can be engaged to make the silage, avoiding the need for producers to have specific equipment and machinery, generally, to feed silage out, labour and some level of machinery is required.

The need for this machinery, plus the cost and labour units required to get the silage to the livestock can easily add up or make the product prohibitive to some, so we’re investigating whether a set up that enables livestock to self-feed directly from a silage pit might be an option.

Self-feeding silage pits are utilised commonly in the northern hemisphere, particularly in dairying operations, however we are interested in their application to northern NSW grazing operations – primarily beef at this stage. Therefore, we are very interested in hearing from you, particularly if you:

  • have fed stock directly from a silage pit and are willing to share your story with us and others - what did you do? How effective was it?
  • have a silage pit that might allow for self-feeding that you are looking to utilise in the short to medium term (approximately within the next two/three years).
  • are interested in working with us to create a purpose-built chopped silage pit that cattle can be directly fed from.

The aim of this project is to ascertain whether self-feeding from silage pits is a valid option for producers in our region in the future.

Contact Sally Balmain (0428 280 809, sally.balmain@lls.nsw.gov.au) or George Truman (0427 505 040, george.truman@lls.nsw.gov.au).

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