Targets for maize silage

High quality silage is produced when high quality maize is ensiled well. Submitting a representative sample of your maize silage to a commercial feed testing laboratory will provide you with important information on the nutritional value of your maize silage and will also help identify ways to improve feed value next season. The targets for high quality maize silage are shown in the table below. Record your own maize silage results in the last column.


Table 3: Target values for maize silage 
Factor measured
Target values 
Drymatter (%) 30-38
Metabolisable energy (MJME/kgDM) 10.5-11.1
Crude protein (%DM) 6-9
Acid detergent fibre (ADF) (%DM) 25-35
Neutral detergent fibre (ndf) (%DM) 35-50
Starch (%DM) 25-35
pH 3.7-4.2
Ammonia N (% of total N)
Lactic acid (%DM) 
Acetic acid (%DM) 1-3
Butyric acid (%DM) 0

High quality maize silage will have a tobacco smell and be green to greenish-yellow in colour. It should be cool and free of mould.