Silage are industrial or agricultural byproducts, forages, or crop residues that are often preserved using acids, either produced by natural preservation or added artificially. It is worth noting that this is done without any air being present because air is by far the worst enemy of silage. Silage is usually made in four phases, aerobic, fermentation, stable, and aerobic spoilage or feed out phase. There are various reasons why you should make silage. It is worth noting that when you are making silage, it is essential to follow specific steps.
How Silage Processing Occurs
As mentioned earlier, silage processing takes place in four main phases. If you would like to minimize or prevent losses in dry forage matter, you must practice proper silage management. You may lose dry matter and not realize it unless you measure the ensiled forage, which is not likely since most individuals do not take these measurements into account.
Some excellent silage practices include harvesting the crop when it is in the appropriate maturity stage and has the proper moisture, filing the storage structure rapidly, packing the ensiled material firmly, and using plastic to seal the structure properly. Before getting into the three interesting facts about how silage processing occurs, if you are in the silage processing industry and are looking for forage harvesters, they’re possible to buy online.
It is worth noting that whatever takes place during the fermentation process will significantly determine the quantity and quality of the stored feed you will have at feed out. Listed below are the three interesting factors about how the process occurs.
Oxygen Must Be Eliminated
As mentioned earlier, oxygen or air must not be present during silage processing. It is usually eliminated during the first phase of silage processing. The first phase is usually not long, especially if the forage is compact and well-sealed. It may only take a couple of hours. The storage site must be filled up as fast as possible and should take two days maximum. It is essential to seal the storage container once you are done with harvesting. Always ensure that it is airtight.
Fermentation Takes Place When There is No Oxygen Present
Fermentation can only take place when you have eliminated all the oxygen. How long the fermentation process lasts is usually dependent on the ensiling conditions and the ensiled crop. Therefore, the process may last a couple of days or go on for weeks. For this process to be deemed successful, bacteria that produce lactic acid have to dominate and reduce the pH level. It helps to wilt your forage to at least 30% DM.
Stable silage forms when the pH levels drop and no water or air is allowed to enter the storage site. You have to repair any holes as soon as you notice them and ensure that the seal around your silage stays airtight since some acid-tolerant microorganisms may have survived and will survive the process in an inactive state. It is worth noting that you have to feed out faster if the silage gets hot. If it is not, then you can do about a 30cm removal every day. It will help to have a smaller stack on your next harvest if you happen to have silage heating.
There is so much more to the silage process, and you have to be conversant with the process step by step to ensure that it is successful. The steps individuals employ in each face may vary, but it is essential to note that one of the things that should be constant is ensuring there is no air.