Dairy farmers face possible silo rebuild

US - Milk testing has found a high dioxin level in samples produced on farms where young stock has come in contact with treated wood and from silage stored in bunkers built with treated wood.
calendar icon 19 February 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Mervyn Wetzstein, who works in the Animal Health unit in Abbotsford told dairy producers at the Pacific Agriculture Show that all treated wood is not recommended for use or contact with silage because of its potential dioxin risk.

To resolve this issue, Mr. Wetzstein said letters were sent to all producers outlining the situation and requesting specific information which must be returned to the milk board by the end of Feb.

“Once we get the answers back from the industry, the milk board will send out information packages detailing what options producers will have to deal with the dioxin problem.”

Mr. Wetzstein pointed out that if a producer has a wooden bunker silo built with pressure treated lumber and where animal contact is not possible, there may not be a problem.

“The problem,” he says, “arises out of animal contact mainly in heifer confinement, where a lot of biting and chewing can happen, with treated wood. The other concern is leachate from the wood into the silage. “That’s what we are focussing on,” says Mr. Wetzstein.

So what does a farmer do to protect himself.

“That may require some one on one discussion,” says Mr. Wetzstein.

He advises producers not to go ahead and make modifications until what is appropriate has been decided. What you use to seal off contact with the dioxins in the treated lumber is important. Producers could particle board, plastic or tin. It will depend on whether the problem is feed contact or animal contact,” he noted.

Source: The Chilliwack Progress
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