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Compaction of grass silage

Optimal ensiling – good compaction counts

Excellent silages are created under optimal ensiling conditions, for which thorough compaction is essential. Read on for useful tips on this topic.

Optimally wilted silage

Silage with a dry matter content of 28–35% is ideal for ensiling. As a rule, the higher the DM content, the shorter the chop length (DM > 40%: 15 mm chop length). Plan well for bringing silage crops in to make sure that DM contents remain within optimal limits: Recently sown or recently mown crops or high-yield areas often take longer to wilt and can therefore be left to the end before they are brought in. You may also want to consider bringing in crops from fields that are further away last. The resulting longer travel distances and longer intervals before each load reaches the silo leave more time for rolling the silage.

Die richtige Befüllung des Silos

Ideally, silos should be wide enough to allow parallel unloading and rolling of loads. Silos without side walls need to be designed wider, as the silage pile becomes narrower towards the top. Silos are ideally filled in even layers. Each layer should not be thicker than 15–20 cm, as greater thicknesses make it more difficult to roll and compact the silage efficiently. Unloading silage in piles in front or on top of a silo makes adequate rolling particularly difficult. The additional time needed for distributing the silage is then not available for rolling. Ensure that rolling is performed as evenly as possible across the full surface. Having another tractor and driver available for pulling vehicles on top of the silage can be particularly useful as ensiling progresses.

Requirements regarding silo rollers

Silo rollers should have a high total weight of 10–16 t. Front or rear weights can be added to increase this weight. Rollers should also be equipped with silage spreaders to ensure that silage is evenly distributed. Tyre pressure should be at least 2 bar, and rollers should travel at a speed of 3–4 km/h. 2–4 passes per track are ideal. If these parameters cannot be reached, it is useful to work with an additional compaction tractor. If several loaders arrive at the same time, you may want to consider pausing the ensiling chain briefly to ensure continuously thorough compaction.

The silage additives of BONSILAGE offer an optimal solution for any silage situation.