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  • Jin Gan

Tips On Storing Silage During Harvest

Tips On Storing Silage During Harvest

Packing is important during silage storage in a bunker. High packing density will reduce dry matter as well as nutrient losses during ensiling, storage and feedout.

Here are some tops on proper bunker silo packing at harvest:

Silage Packing Time

  • Ensure sufficient packing time relative to the chopped forage delivery rate in order to achieve maximum packing density.

  • Packing time per ton is usually the highest (1-4 minutes per ton on a fresh basis) under low delivery rates (less than 30 tons per hour on a fresh basis).

  • Packing time is generally less than 1 minute per ton (on fresh basis) at delivery rates higher than 60 tons per hour.

Forage Delivery Rate

  • In order to find out the best total tractor weight to optimise packing: divide total tractor weight by 800 - this will determine the tons per hour of fresh silage that can be properly stacked.

  • Example: a tractor with total weight of 40,000 lbs/800 = 150 tons of silage per hour can be properly stacked.

  • To increase tractor weight, consider filling the tires with water or add weights to the tractor's front.

Forage Layer Thickness

  • Chopped forage should be spread in thin layers - around 6 to 12 inches.

  • If bunker silo is properly packed, the tires of the packing tractor should ideally passes through the entire surface before the next forage layer is distributed.

Mistakes To Avoid

  • Harvest at the wrong moisture or maturity level.

  • Poor feedout management.

  • Not removing spoiled silage regularly.

  • Insufficient packing.

  • Not using inoculants correctly.

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