Patz Blog

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We appreciate staying connected to our customers and business partners. From new product introductions to leading industry advice to help improve your operation, we’ll share the latest right here.

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Weathering Winter Storms

Weathering Winter Storms

Storms across the nation are getting more volatile and powerful every year. Now on the cusp of winter, it is important to have a plan in place should severe winter weather hit your farm. If you already have active emergency procedures, take the time to review with your employees and coworker. A plan will keep both employees and animals safe when practiced and well-known.

Keep a close eye on your inventory. Know your numbers, and have extra on hand in winter in case a storm prevents shipments from getting into your farm. Take a walk around the farm property and check out building structures, trees and low hanging branches, and power hook-ups to the barn. Does everything look like it should? Do branches need to be cut to prevent building damage? Now is the time to do it before the snow is here to stay.

Keep procedures for winter emergencies in well-traveled locations. Test out your generator and make sure it is functioning in case there is a winter power outage. Do you have a secondary location to house animals in case of a barn roof collapse? Have an evacuation plan in place with emergency contacts listed for efficient transitions if needed.



Stop Men Dying Too Young

Starting as a bit of a joke to bring back the mustache, two friends in Australia ended up creating the worldwide movement now known as “Movember”. There were originally 30 people that participated in the first year of this program. Each participant donated $10.00 to grow a mustache in November back in 2003. Inspired by a friend’s mother fundraising for breast cancer, they donated the money raised to a prostate cancer foundation. Now, 15 years later, there are over 5 million people supporting Movember by raising awareness for men’s health issues with facial hair, volunteering, or donating.

The general goal of this movement is to stop men from dying too young. It is meant to raise awareness and educate men on prostate and testicular cancer, as well as mental health and suicide prevention. Movember focuses on signs and symptoms of prostate and testicular cancer, early detection, and encourages open conversations and questions with family and doctors. They offer support for men and their families fighting against these illnesses.

For more information, visit

Safe Silage Storage

Tips for Silage Safety

While not usually regarded as a dangerous job, there are many hazards associated with silage storage and handling. Here are 4 tips to maximize your safety when working with silage:

Be Aware of Silage Gases

Stored forages ferment in the absence of oxygen, creating silage. The fermentation process also results in the creation of dangerous gases. Exposure to these gases can cause long-term respiratory problems or death.

Often found in tower silos, carbon dioxide (CO2) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause dizziness, loss of consciousness, and asphyxiation. CO2 is heavier than air and will displace oxygen.

More dangerous, yet more detectable, is nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Produced from corn silage, nitrogen dioxide’s strong bleach scent and orange-colored indicate immediate danger – if exposed to nitrogen dioxide, hold your breath and exit the affected area as soon as possible.

The Sky’s The Limit?

Silage piles should not be taller than equipment can reach (12-16 feet) safely. Piles should not exceed bunker walls, if applicable. Silage that is stacked too tall increase the risk of collapse, which can lead to serious injury or death.

When feeding, ensure that the silage is removed from the face of the pile (shaved), rather than scooped from the bottom of the pile (undercut). Undercutting creates dangerous silage overhangs which can collapse or avalanche on to anyone below. Always work with a buddy if you are near the silage pile face, and keep away unless you are collecting for feeding or testing.

Packing Density Matters

Silage that is not packed correctly loses valuable nutrients. Overpacked silage can seep from the pile. Poorly packed silage introduces too much oxygen, degrading the feed quality. For best results, match silage delivery rate to packing time, monitor your dry matter content, and use feed-tracking systems to record any losses.

Cover the Pile As You Go

Covering your silage piles prevents oxygen-induced feed degradation and dry matter losses, while also limiting the amount of mold and yeast that grows on outer layers of silage.