Silage Management

FermaGuard™ is a forage inoculant that utilizes a combination of homofermentative lactic acid producing bacteria(LAB). FermaGuard™ provides 120,000 colony forming units(CFU) of LAB per gram of ensiled crop when applied according to the label. FermaGuard™ has shown improvement in overall fermentation and dry matter retention when compared to a negative control.1

Please contact us with questions regarding FermaGuard™.

HARVESTING

There are many factors that are involved in the harvesting process. The type of crop that will be harvested for silage is the primary factor. Below is a chart that shows the recommended stage of maturity, chop length and moisture based on the type of crop being harvested. Below are some useful tips on silage management. 2

INOCULATING

Through the process of inoculating the silage, beneficial bacteria are introduced to the fresh green chop. These beneficial bacteria help control the fermentation process. The inoculant that is chosen should have a minimum of 100,000 colony forming units (CFU) per gram of green chop. FermaGuard™ introduces quality lactic acid producing bacteria (LAB) at 120,000 CFU per gram of green chop, when applied as directed. FermaGuard™ has shown an improvement in the fermentation of silage as well as an improvement in dry matter retention when compared to a negative control.

PACKING

Packing is a critical component of quality silage production. Without having a proper pack density of ≥14 lb/ft3, oxygen may be allowed to permeate the pile creating an environment susceptible to harmful bacteria, mold and yeast growth. With the proper packing density and the addition of a silage tarp with a weighting system, the potential for a quality fermentation increases.

STORING

There are a few different ways to store silage. Briefly discussed are different types of storage techniques.

Bag: Bagging is a storage technique that adds a dimension of flexibility when it comes to the location to store the silage. This storage technique is both economical and effective at properly storing silage. 

Upright Silo: Upright silos are designed to create an anaerobic environment and take up less site space than other storage options. 

Ground Pile: Ground piles are the simplest storage technique that allows added flexibility over built storage structures. Proper packing density can be achieved on a ground pile by using common equipment such as 4-wheel drive tractors.

Bunker: Bunker silos are a common storage technique as they are cost effective to construct and are easy to fill. Similar to the ground pile common equipment such as 4-wheel drive tractors can be used to achieve proper packing density.

FEEDING

Feed out of silage and the management of the pile during feeding is very important in insuring lower spoilage throughout the feeding process.                              

Removal of Silage: There are different types of equipment that can be used for silage removal. Specifically, on bunker and ground piles a standard loader with a bucket or a specialized defacer rake may be used. Regardless of the equipment used, it’s important to remove a uniform depth of silage fully across the face of the pile.

Face Management: The depth at which silage should be removed on a daily basis can vary based on ambient temperature. In cooler months a minimum daily removal rate of 6 to 12 inches should be maintained. In warmer months a 12 to 18 inch removal rate should be maintained. By achieving a proper removal rate, aerobic instability chances are decreased.       

Please contact us for additional information about silage management.

1Trial information available upon request through the contact us link.
2Each individual scenario when harvesting, inoculating, packing, storing or feeding silage can require different techniques. The information provided is not to be considered a direct recommendation for your situation. Please contact a consulting agronomist or consulting nutritionist for your specific requirements.
3Storage techniques must also be considered when determining proper harvesting moisture.

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