Compaction and sealing
Plant enzymes and naturally occurring aerobic (oxygen-loving) bacteria convert plant sugars and proteins into water, carbon dioxide and heat. This results in a loss in both quality and quantity of pasture to ensile.
|Good silage compaction and sealing will help ensure an efficient fermentation process and reduce the risk of heating and mould growth.|
Compaction targets for stacks and bunkers are shown in Table 3:
Wet silage (kg)
|Table 3: Required densities for stacks and bunkers6|
|Compaction density (kg/m3)|
|Drymatter percentage of pasture silage (%)||Drymatter (kgDM)||Wet silage (kg)
Stacks or bunkers
- Spread grass into 100 - 150 mm layers and compact until the surface is firm.
- Seal the stack using a high quality plastic cover and weigh it down with tyres that are touching.
- Seal the edges with sand or lime.
- Use a reputable baling contractor with well maintained machinery.
- Wrap bales as soon as possible after making silage.
- Use quality plastic and follow the manufacturer's recommendation for the number of wraps.
- Handle bales carefully to avoid puncturing the wrap.
- Stack bales no more than two high.
6Honig, H. 1991. Reducing losses during storage and unloading of silage. Forage toward 2000, FAL 1991, p. 116-128.