Call Message

Silage tips for maize

High silage quality is the basis for optimal forage milk yield. Our service addresses all major management factors involved in producing maize silage of superior feed quality.

Harvest time+

The optimal harvest time is after completed starch deposition in kernels. Maize is considered to be ready for ensiling when its dry matter in kernels has reached 56-60 % and DM content of whole plants ranges between 29 and 34 %.

Compliance with these harvest time recommendations delivers:

  • Optimal compaction characteristics
  • Reduced susceptibility to heating and moulds
  • Reduced susceptibility to the formation of Fusarium toxins
  • Good feed qualities
Chop length+

Optimum chop length: 6-8mm. The dryer the material, the shorter the chop length.

The optimum chop length

  • optimises compaction
  • minimises energy losses during ensiling and removal
  • increases feed intake
  • improves digestibility (larger contact surface for ruminal microorganisms)
Silage additive+

An effective fermentation process is promoted by adhering to the fundamental principles of ensiling and can be further enhanced by applying silage additives for a range of action categories. (Silage additives)

Dosing technology+

LAB products can only be effective if they are precisely dosed. SCHAUMANN dosing systems ensure the precise application of any BONSILAGE products.


The entry of oxygen into silage causes reheating and thus losses of energy and DM. The better silage is therefore compacted, the less oxygen is able to enter from the air whenever silage is removed.

Measures for optimal compaction:

  • Layer depth for compaction: 15-20 cm
  • Slow speed (3-4 km/h)
  • 2-4 bar tyre pressure

Rules of thumb:

Compaction tractor weight = Pick-up rate in t FM per hour / 4

Compaction = 8 * DM [%] + 6

  • Oxygen barrier adheres directly to silage (strength: 40-50 μ)
  • Main silage plastic must be gas-tight (strength: 150-250 μ)
  • Silage netting protects films against mechanical damage and provides additional weight
  • Silage sandbags as additional weights for a snug fit. Silage sandbags allow air-tight barriers to be created at 5 m intervals to prevent air entering at silo faces
  • Side walls should be covered with side wall plastics, where applicable
  • Intermediate sealing in case of delayed ensiling (over 6 hours)
Silo face+

The minimum weekly removal rate should be 2 m per week to avoid reheating.

How to prevent reheating:

  • Create summer silos with smaller face areas
  • Ensure that the silo face is away from the prevailing wind direction
  • Remove as little silage film as possible in advance
  • Calculate silo length and removal based on herd size
  • Optimise removal technology