What is silage?
1. Silage is feed created as a result of ensiling whole or partially cut plants (alfalfa, grass, corn) and other raw materials of vegetable origin.
2. The plant matter is harvested, effectively wilted, picked up from the field, compacted and as the final stage the air access is cut off which results in so called lactic fermentation.
3. Ensiling is possible thanks to the lactic acid.
4. This acid is produced during the fermentation process by the lactic acid bacteria located on the plants and also supplied when adding the inoculants.
5. Lactic acid inhibits the growth of microorganisms that cause unwanted loss of sugars, protein breakdown or producing harmful substances endangering the animal’s well-being.
SUCCESSFUL SILAGE MANUAL THE KEY TO PRODUCING WELL PRESERVED SILAGE
1. Harvest the crop at the right stage of maturity for optimum quality and yield.
2. Avoid harvesting during rainy weather – monitor weather forecasts.
3. Mow and wilt the crop to the appropriate amount of dry matter content of the parent forage designated for ensiling 30 – 45%.
4. Shorter chop length increases rate of release of fermentation substrates and improves compaction.
5. Make sure that soil doesn’t get into the forage (ashes should be below 10% DM).
6. Use the correct application rate in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, minimizing application losses. Ensuring thorough mixing of the additive throughout the forage.
7. Compact well and seal effectively to create an anaerobic (air-free) environment. This will minimize losses during storage.
8. Ensure the forage is effectively sealed – the seal is airtight.