Case Study: NaCl Addition to the Top Layer of Corn Ensiled in Bunker Silos


The objective of this study was to examine fermentation characteristics and the quality of corn silage in response to top-dressing with NaCl after ensiling. Two bunker silos were divided into six sections each. Three alternate sections per silo had salt applied at a rate of 22.5 kg/121-m2 section. The other three sections were not treated. The silos were covered with black plastic sheeting and secured with tire sidewalls. Four weeks after covering, seven silage samples were taken from the top layer of each of the sections, composited, and analyzed for DM, pH, NDF, ADF, acetic acid, lactic acid, mold, yeast, total aerobic bacteria, clostridia, deoxynivalenol, and zearalenone. The silage samples from the salt-treated sections exhibited several properties that indicated improved fermentation and reduced spoilage, including trends for reduced pH, NDF content, zearalenone concentrations, and total aerobic bacteria counts, when compared with the unsalted silage. Adding salt to the top layer of corn silage is an economically feasible way of reducing top layer spoilage and may reduce silage waste.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Professional Animal Scientist


American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists - Elsevier

Scientific Contribution Number


Document Type