What is the best way to remove silage from the clamp?
It is vitally important to prevent air penetrating the face to any depth. A block cutter is the best option as it causes minimum disturbance and leaves a neat, tight face. A shear grab is also effective but there is more face disturbance which leads to loose silage falling down. This should be picked up and fed immediately. Failing this, a silage grab is adequate provided you move the grab downwards when removing silage, rather than lifting it upwards. The worse possible option would be a bucket on a fore-end loader lifting the face, leaving a loose, cracked face and a lot of fallen silage.
DM losses at feedout vary tremendously, eg over a 4 day period they could be as little as 1% with a well compacted, well-sealed silo with an undisturbed face or as high as 15% where compaction and sealing have been poor and the face has been loosened.
Is a block cutter or shear grab worth buying?
These are probably the most cost-effective pieces of machinery you could invest in. They are the best way to keep the clamp face tight and tidy – provided the blades are kept sharp.