Ask the Quality Silage Experts: Ash Contamination in Forage Crops

Ask the Quality Silage Experts: Ash Contamination in Forage Crops

Q. We’ve received some rain, and I’m worried about ash contamination. What can I do about it?

A. Heavy rain splashing soil onto leaves can result in contamination. Yet, dry weather and drought conditions may also contribute to soil contamination from dust blowing onto the crop.

Plants’ internal ash provides minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium that can be utilized by ruminants. Whereas, soil contamination is characterized by elevated concentrations of iron, aluminum and silica. The mineral contributions of ash can be important to animal health and performance. However, non-mineral ash can harbor fungi and bacteria.

To manage soil contamination, we recommend:

Avoid harvesting lodged forage
Raise the cutter bar of a disc mower and use flat knives
Keep the windrow off the ground
Keep rake tines from touching the ground
Minimize moving hay horizontally
Use a windrow merger
Storage silage on concrete or asphalt
If you’ve already harvested and ensiled the forage, watch for signs of clostridial spoilage and high ammonia levels.


For additional tips on using forage inoculants, visit


The Silage Dr.


Question about silage management? Ask the silage quality experts on Twitter, Facebook or visit



Sponsored by Lallemand Animal Nutrition

Zach Zingula
Tue, 08/06/2019 – 07:19





News Article

Image Caption

Image Credit
Sponsored Content
Source: Dairy Herd