Silage Effluent Discharge Practices

Applies to: Silage Storage I; Silage Storage II


This indicator refers to the prevention of negative impacts of silage effluent on the environment. Silage effluent is liquid that seeps from silage storage structures. Because it is typically very high in nutrients that can harm surface water and groundwater, silage effluent is a worse potential pollutant than manure or sewage. Controlling silage effluent and making sure that it does not enter groundwater or come into contact with surface water is extremely important. The common abatement practices include prevention measures (harvesting at optimal moisture content, allocation of the storage at suitable distances from surface water, road ditches, tile drains, and other water and wells, special storage for the effluent, storages of silage and effluent with impermeable concrete floors and walls, covered silage storage, prevention of rainwater entering effluent collection systems) and application measures (treatment through the use of filters and absorption systems, addition of silage juice to an open-air manure storage system, dilution and application to fields, discharge into the public sewage system, adding the silage effluent into the biogas digester).


Which activities are implemented in regards to silage effluent discharge and/or use?


All prevention and one application measure in place (not including discharge into the public sewage system)

Two or more preventions and one application measure in place (not including discharge into the public sewage system)

Less than two preventions or one application measure in place

No management of silage effluent

Discharge into the natural recipient/direct field application regardless of any treatment applied

Sources of information:

Nennich, T. Silage Leachate. Use caution and protect the environment. Nov. 2014. Purdue Extension.

The Scottish Executive, 2005. Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Agricultural Activity. A code of good practice.