Introduction to Silage Making

This is just a brief guide for silage making. Hope you like it as you all responded very well on my previous articles as well.

Dr. Malik Muhammad Ali
Maxim International Pvt. Ltd.

sugar contained in green fodder is converted in to Lactic acid . Bajara. Preference for cereal green fodder (monocotyledons) is due to it has more sugar content than protein. Fodder sorghum. so it is better to use these kinds of crops for making silage than hay. as sugar is utilized in fermentation process to make lactic acid by microorganisms. Due to Carbon dioxide releases in pit/bunker.with the help of micro organisms. air inside is expelled outside as well as organism which depends on oxygen (Like bacteria & Fungi) cannot withstand in CO2 atmosphere in Tank/Bunker. releases water & carbon dioxide in closed environment in pit/bunker. Hybrid Napier. These cereal fodder crops have hard stem. wheat etc are required. Sugar cane tops. Essential fodder crops for silage making To prepare best quality silage. What is silage making? Silage making means preservation of chaffed cereal green fodder in anaerobic condition by way of fermentation method. . Respiratory function of living cells present in green chaffed fodder utilizes Oxygen in air tight condition. These effects in to preservation of chaffed green fodder in silo pit/bunker as silage for longer duration (6 months or a year if good care is taken). which takes more time for drying in making hay of these crops. cereal green fodder like Green fodder maize. Oats. In anaerobic condition (no air inside pit/bunker).Silage preparation Silage preparation is one of the important methods for storage of green fodder for dairy animals & it is necessary to adopt this method by Indian dairy farmers on large scale in situations like drought or heavy rainfall or scarcity of fodder.which help to preserve the green fodder for longer duration.

high rainfall & scarcity of fodder. Silage is storage system of green fodder which keeps all parts of fodder in appropriate condition for feeding than any other system of storage of fodder. 3. 2. 120 days. Silage requires less space for storage as it is pressed in pit/bunker than hay making. 1.e.e. Important thing behind to adopt silage is in scarcity it provide supply of fodder to dairy animals. it is easily digestible to animals. For daily cutting. Land under fodder cultivation is emptied. Silage is tasty & flavored. 8. March to June). (In hay making.e. following aspects needs to pay attention: How many dairy animals farmer’s have? How many days farmer’s have to feed animals with silage? Is sufficient green fodder is available with farmer to prepare required silage? On the above points. it is impossible to cultivate or harvest fodder) Planning for silage making There are two methods for silage making which are vastly used i. (Rain fed area where shortage of green fodder is for March to June & in high rainy area or water logged lands. So farmers’ can take more crops in same land in a year against traditional way where land is reserved for fodder until all crops is harvested. For planning of silage. Pit method or bunker method. so go through following points.etc. so it increases appetite of dairy animals. Due to lactic acid in silage. 2. 3. fodder cutting. so energy required for digestion is used for other purposes like milk production. 5. So for four months i. 7. there is example for you: One dairy farmer has four adult milching dairy animals. transporting & chaffing of fodder in traditional way requires more labor & time but in case of silage. so it is less labor & time consuming practice. dry fodder is stocked & exposed for fire like situation) 6.Benefits of silage making Following are few of Benefits of Making silage: 1. decide to plan for silage making. 120 days for four animals requirement of silage is 13440 kg. . Silage is prepared in closed & air tight condition so there is no danger of fire. There are four milking dairy animals Farmers have to make silage for four months i. He has to plan for silage for four summer months (i. 4. Maximum per day feeing of silage is 28 kg per animal so per day feeding for four animals as 112 kg.e. Situations like drought. transport. These two methods are economically viable for dairy farmers. and immediately it is used for plantation of other crops. farmers may use silage for feeding to dairy animals. chaffing is done at one time only.

Better pH control. Less mould growth. plaster wall of silo pit or bunker with cement or moistened soil. then go for building tank for silage making than pit method. 5. But do need proper treatment of additives if you use mature fodder or fodder without grains. Etc etc. Ground water level 2. Efficient fermentations. For pit method. Number of animals 3.5 foot long × 6 foot wide × 5 foot high. so you may have to make 672 cubic feet of pit/bunker as 22. In rectangular pit. Decrease storage time. contains 20 kg of chaffed green fodder. 2. If plastering cement to the wall of pit/tank is uneconomical. 5. corner edges should be making round so that while filling & pressing chaffed fodder. Pit/Bunker method for silage making (Read my Previous article as well) Depending upon local situations like: 1. One of my recipes is: . we donot need much of additives but inoculants do improve following: 1. Duration of feeding silage to animals We decide shape & size of constructing pit/bunker for silage making. In one cubic foot in pit or bunker (1 cubic foot = 1 foot long × 1 foot wide × 1 foot high). air will not remain inside in the corners of pit or tank. 4. select location for making pit at higher level on ground so that rain water may not percolate in to pit.4.To avoid this situation. then you may use HDPE plastic paper (200 micron) to cover pit/bunker inside out position. Wall of pit/bunker should be air proof to avoid air too come inside in pit /bunker through cracks or crevices . To decide dimension of pit/bunker for 13440 kg chaffed green fodder .you may divide it with 20 kg. If ground water level is nearer. Treatment for Silage For making best quality & balanced silage. 3. This means 13440 kg of chaffed green fodder is required for making silage for four dairy animals for four months.

m to 2 c. Very mature stage is not good for preparing silage as its sugar content is decreased as well as fiber percentage in increased. bajara etc for filling silo pit. (Then sprinkle it with prepared solution of Jaggary. Procedure for filling silo pit/bunker When fodder crop is in cob stage or Tussling stage or grain is half to 1/3 milky. 3. Prepare separate solution in 15 to 20 liters of water for Urea (mentioned above). For making silage. Mineral mixture & common salt in separate pots/buckets & then spread it on layer of pressed chaffed green fodder while filling silo pit/tank. 2 kg jaggary/ Molasses 1 kg common salt 1 kg Max Vita (Mineral Mixture) 1 liter of Whey (if available). Cover with plastic film inside pit/tank in such way that it will cover all sides of pit/tank. press it with heavy tractor in such a way that air will not entangled in chaffed fodder. 4. Jaggary. 1 kg Urea. 6.5 c. Common salt & whey. With the help of chaff cutter machine.) . Mineral mixture. chaffing of fodder is essential component. (if using grain less or mature crop) 5. After making 4” thick layer of chaffed green fodder.1. sugarcane tops. Start to fill chaffed green fodder in pit or bunker. 3.m length of green maize. clean& dry it. Prior to filling silo pit / bunker. make pieces of 1. Mineral mixture & common salt in separate pots/buckets & then spread it on layer of pressed chaffed green fodder while filling silo pit/tank. Urea. 2. 4. 3. 2. Following steps to be taken while filling silo pit: 1. sorghum. Care to be taken to avoid silage making in rainy days or crops containing dew drops in winter season because moisture is more in this situation so there may be chances for development of mould in silo pit or bunker during storage period. Prepare separate solution in 15 to 20 liters of water for Urea. Jaggary. harvest it for preparation of silage. this kind of fodder is less suitable for silage making. 5.

Covet it with Tires. Then covet it from plastic film from all side carefully. It will require 40 to 45 days to make good quality of silage.7.5 feet above the ground level) and up to level of side walls in bunker. (Wheat straw + Soil) & dry hay to protect it from entering rain water in to it. 10. Follow the same procedure until filling of pit (1 to 1. 8. Unwrap Plastic sheet. Sharpen your blades Start chopping . 9.

Start pressing Pressing is the key Compaction at edges as well .

Equal distribution is important Covering is very important .

If silage while filling pit/tank. Burnt smell .Check silage DM. Wilt to > 30% DM next season.Mould. pH. If it is not in use. silage is ready as feed for animals.Good quality silage has faint green or brownish colour.Use microbial inoculants or propionic acid-based preservative on next season’s crop. . . .Good quality silage has pH of 3. Initially feed animals with 5-6 kg silage by adding it with chaffed green fodder to develop taste to animals. . Colour. Quality of Silage. . Silage smell Vinegar.2. . pack tightly. Silage smells and what to do about them.Check chop length.Use of silage After 42 days. Once animal likes sweet-sour taste of silage. .Increase feed out rate.Use microbial inoculants or propionic acid-based preservative on next season’s crop (Maxim’s Selko TMR) . Musty Strong tobacco. Odour.Use microbial inoculants next season to obtain a more desirable fermentation. Rancid.Use microbial inoculants next season to obtain a more desirable fermentation. Acetic acid Butyric acid.Check silage DM. there will be growth of mould.Use microbial inoculants or propionic acid based preservative on next crop. Rotten silage has black colour. it will eat it with good liking.Use propionic acid-based preservative in TMR (Maxim’s Selko TMR) . fishy Management Check . and pack quickly. Lower moisture content of silage. Open pit/bunker initially from one side of for use. then cover it carefully with plastic film so that air will not go inside in silage. not well pressed. Ethanol Moldy. .Good quality silage has sweet & sour taste.5 to 4.