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Silage- Preserved Grass for Winter Feed. Slide 1. Factors That Affect Silage Quality. Use of additives Compaction Speed of filling & sealing the pit Wetness when cut Time of year ensiled. Silage Data. Increase in yield= longer growing period, increase photosynthesis & day length,

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Silage- Preserved

Grass for Winter


Slide 1

factors that affect silage quality
Factors That Affect Silage Quality
  • Use of additives
  • Compaction
  • Speed of filling & sealing the pit
  • Wetness when cut
  • Time of year ensiled
silage data
Silage Data

Increase in yield= longer growing period, increase photosynthesis & day length,

Variation in digestibility= grass develops flower, high % cellulose, reduction in starch

Decrease in carcass = lower intake, less digestible food, decreased protein content

making silage
Making Silage
  • Preserved grass by acids.
  • Lactic Acid from sugars in grass
  • Complete absence of air.
  • Adequate supply of sugars.
complete absence of air
Complete Absence of Air
  • Air must be excluded to enable Lactic Acid Bacteria to feed & prevents rotting.
  • Lactobacilli
  • Streptococci
  • These bacteria feed & multiply to produce LACTIC ACID-Preserve
  • Anaerobic bacteria
  • The Faster air is excluded the quicker the bacteria can start to work on sugars to produce acid to lower pH.
  • Fast filling the pit & sealing is vital
  • pH 4 as fast as possible
adequate supply of sugars
Adequate Supply of Sugars
  • Anaerobic bacteria feed sugars Acids
  • Sugar content 10 –15%
  • Different grass species
  • Grass acts as a substrate for the bacteria & converts the sugars to acids
grass species used for silage
Grass Species used for Silage
  • Perennial Ryegrass
  • Italian Ryegrass (biennial)
  • White clover
  • Red clover
factors forming lactic acid silage
Air free

Fill silo quickly

Short cut grass

Good compaction

Wilted grass



Good Acidification

Low pH

Effective Additive

Good Sealing of silo

High sugar Grass

STAGE of Growth

= High Palatability, High Digestibility

Factors forming Lactic Acid Silage
  • Improve Silage Preservation
  • Increased Silage Intake
  • Improved digestibility & animal performance
  • Sugar Based
  • Added to supplement sugars already present in grass.
  • The sugars are converted to acids by microbes.
  • 9-18 litres/ton of grass
  • Added either by harvester or at the pit
  • Young leafy grass, wet weather have reduced sugar content
sulphuric formic acid
Sulphuric/Formic Acid
  • These reduce the pH of grass from 6 to 4.8
  • Creates an environment which favours lactic acid production
  • 2-3 litres/ton
  • The lower the sugar level in grass, the leafier the grass & the wetter the grass the higher rate of acid is used
silage cutting
Silage Cutting
  • Mower- chops the grass up small to increase the surface area for bacteria to act on
  • Precision chop mower
  • This is to cut the grass & leave it on the ground for 24 –48 hours before gathering up & ensiling it
  • To remove some water from the crop
  • Increases conc. Of sugars
  • Reduces level of effluent
  • Raises DM content
  • Reduces the activity of undesirable bacteria
  • Reduces the size of clamp required
  • Saves on additives
to make silage
To Make silage
  • Close the field in time.
  • Fertilize adequately
  • Cut at the correct stage of growth- precision chopper
  • Allow to wilt for 1-2 days
  • Pick up the grass
  • Transport to pit/bale
  • Fill pit quickly
  • Use an additive
  • Spread grass and compact evenly
  • Cover & seal the pit
  • % Sugar in silage sample
  • Compare silage samples-colour, smell, pH, water content.
  • % DMD
  • To conserve grass as silage in the lab
to get high levels of carbohydrates
To get high levels of carbohydrates
  • Cut the grass at the young leafy stage
  • Cut in dry conditions(water dilutes)
  • Allow to wilt
  • Cut using a precision chop mower
  • Use a carbohydrate rich additive
  • Mow in afternoon