Tips for ensiling lower dry matter forages

Gordon Marley

Sometimes the weather window demands ensiling lower dry matter grass or alfalfa. Our expert Gordon is sharing his tips on this:

  1. Avoid the use of a conditioner if you know you are going to ensile wet grass or alfalfa – the conditioner will increase the amount of effluent produced.
  2. Increase the chop length to 5cm+ and reduce the degree of compaction of the silage.
  3. Use of homofermentative inoculant is crucial to overcome enteric and clostridial losses.
  4. Do not use train wheel compactors on your silage below 28% dry matter.
  5. If the forage is being baled avoid stacking the bales.
  6. Be especially careful of silage gases when ensiling low dry matter grass and alfalfa forage as residual nitrate levels are likely to be high.
  7. Good sealing of the bunker or pile remains critical irrespective of the dry matter of the forage.
Lallemand Animal Nutrition does not purport, in this guide or in any other publication, to specify minimum safety or legal standards or to address all of the compliance requirements, risks, or safety problems associated with working on or around farms. This guide is intended to serve only as a beginning point for information and should not be construed as containing all the necessary compliance, safety, or warning information, nor should it be construed as representing the policy of Lallemand Animal Nutrition. No warranty, guarantee, or representation is made by Lallemand Animal Nutrition as to the accuracy or sufficiency of the information and guidelines contained herein, and Lallemand Animal Nutrition assumes no liability or responsibility in connection therewith. It is the responsibility of the users of this guide to consult and comply with pertinent local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and safety standards.

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