Lessons from this year’s silage can help to improve quality for next year. Look for signs of heating and remember that if silage is dry it is more difficult to consolidate.
The problem areas are often on the clamp shoulders, due to over filling and inadequate rolling. Check consolidation with a thin probe. If it’s easy to push into the face, air ingress is likely to be a problem. Warm damp air under a loose sheet can encourage yeast and mould growth, while old silage that has fallen from the face can cause contamination with mould spores.
When silage temperatures rise above 35°C, digestibility can fall. But expect to find the clamp temperature between 9°C and 12°C higher than at ensiling due to the fermentation process. If silage is heating after it’s been removed from the clamp then include a silage stabiliser to inhibit yeast and mould growth. This can delay heating for up to 48 hours and reduce nutrient losses by up to half.
Untreated silages lose between 6% and 10% dry matter during fermentation and between 6% and 12% of energy after opening the clamp. So choose a silage additive that best suits your type of forage, because effective treatment can reduce losses by up to 50%. Plan how much silage you are going to make and place your order for April delivery to ensure the best price.
To find out more contact ForFarmers on 0330 678 1200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org