Targets for pasture silage

High quality silage is produced when high quality pasture or crop is ensiled well. The targets for high quality silage are shown in the table below for pasture and on the next page for cereal and lucerne. Record the feed analysis results for your own silage in the last column.

Table 7: Targets for high quality pasture silage15 
Factor measured Target values
Drymatter - stack or bunker 25 - 30%
                - bales 30 - 35%
Metabolisable energy (MJME/kgDM) Greater than 10
Crude protein (%) Greater than 16%
Drymatter digestibility (%) Greater than 70%
pH 3.5 - 4.5
Ammonia N (% of total N) 5 - 10
Lactic acid (% of DM)16/td> 8 - 12
Butyric acid (% of DM)/td> 0.1 - 1.0  

High quality pasture silage will have a tobacco smell and be greenish-yellow or greenish brown in colour. It will always be cool and free of mould.


15DairyNZ farmfact 1-46. What is high quality pasture silage?

16Kung and Shaver, 2001, Interpretation and use of silage fermentation analysis reports. Focus on Forage Vol 3: No 13. University of Wisconsin.