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Silage management – high silage quality for best performance


The optimal chopping length is 30 – 40 mm.

High-quality forage is the basic for successful and economic milk production. Especially decisive is the right cutting time. A delayed cut leads to nutrient losses and therefore to a poor silage quality. The feed intake decreases and the milk performance drops. Schaumann provides tips for optimal silage production management (see figure 1).

 

 

 

Cutting time and height

 

Cutting time is reached, depending on used grass species, after 30-45 days by reaching the temperature sum for grassland of 200°C. . Also the growth height shows information about cutting time: 25 – 40 cm is considered as right height for cutting. The grass-ruler from Schaumann will support you! . Between the first and second cut should be  25 days at maximum. Experiences from the last years show  that especially the second cut is often harvested too late. The content of crude fibre  was often above the limit of 240 g crude fibre /kg dry matter.

 

A cutting height of minimum 7 cm is optimal. The lower amount is compensated by less dirt in the silage. Also the whole process after cutting can work without contamination.  ,  . Thus following equipment (for example turning unit) can also work without pollutions. The cutted grass dries faster and complete losses are reduced.

 

Wilting and field retention time

 

A very short wilting time to 28 -35 % DM enables an optimal silag process. Too wet silages lead to butyric acid fermentation. Too dry silages are poorly compressible and lead to spoilage. Above 45 -50 % DM a correct compression is not anymore possible

The field retention time should be less than 24 hours to avoid energy losses.

 

Chopping length

 

The optimal chopping length is 30 – 40 mm. This is the basic  for good compaction  , efficient  use of silo room and lower losses. As general rule: As higher the fiber content and as drier the silage, as shorter should be the chopping length.

 

Silage additive

 

Beside the basic rules of ensiling BONSILAGE-silage additives supports the fermentation with different directions of action (see figure 2 and 3). BONSILAGE-silage additives regulate the pH-value to an optimum level for stable silages and best feeding. They inhibit the growth of yeast and mould and produce an extra portion of propylene glycol. An exact dosage occurs by SCHAUMANN dosage units.

 

Compression and covering

 

Through oxygen ingress leads to reheating and thus to losses of energy and DM. The better the silage is compacted, the less oxygen can penetrate during silage removal.

 

Measures for optimal compressing:

- Max. 20 cm layer thickness

- Tire pressure min. 2 bar

- No twin tires

- Max. 3-4 km/h driving  speed

- compaction is necessary from the first layer

 

The silo has to be correctly covered immediately after finshing compacting the last layer:
Underlay film (strenght: 40 – 50 μ); gas-tight main protection film  (strength: 150 - 250 μ), silo protection grate to weigh down and for protection against damages, silo sandbags to weigh down

Tip: In addition to strength of silo film, the gas density, elasticity, UV and acid resistance are important quality criteria.

 

Cut surface

 

The minimum removal to avoid reheating should be 1,5 m per week in winter and 2,5 m per week in summer. The removal technique should damage the cutting surface as less as possible, to minimize air ingress.