Packing is key when it comes to silage storage in a bunker. Here are some quick tips for proper bunker silo packing during harvest:
1) Silage packing time
Make sure there is sufficient packing time relative to the chopped forage delivery rate to achieve maximum packing density.
Packing time per ton is normally highest under low delivery rates (less than 30 tons/hour on fresh basis).
Packing times are consistently less than 1 min/ton (on fresh basis) at delivery rates above 60 tons/hour.
2) Forage delivery rate
It can be a challenge to reduce delivery rate as very little farmers are willing to slow harvest rate to optimize packing.
Adding a second or third packing tractor as delivery rate increases can help keep packing time in a sweet spot which is around 1 to 3 minutes per ton of fresh forage.
3) Packing tractor weight
In order to determine best total tractor weight for ideal packing, divide total tractor weight by 800 and that will determine the tons per hour of fresh silage that can be properly packed.
4) Forage layer thickness
Chopped forage should have thin layers of 6 to 12 inches.
In a properly packed bunker silo, the tires of the packing tractor should pass over the entire surface before the next forage layer is distributed.
Here are some other common silage mistakes to avoid:
Harvesting at wrong moisture of maturity.
Poor feedout management.
Not removing spoiled silage.
Not using inoculants properly.
Insufficient kernel processing of corn silage.