Crops having good percentage of sugar and appropriate (35-40% dry matter; 65-60% moisture.) moisture are good for silage making. Crops like maize, jowar, bajra, hybrid napier, oat are most suitable for silage making. Leguminous crops like berseem, Lucerne, Cowpea is not suitable, unless molasses are sprayed on these crops while filling silo pit. The quality of silage production can also be enhanced with the use of suitable additives such as molasses, urea, salt, formic acid etc.
Harvest at proper stage
- Crops at pre-flowering to flowering stage should be harvested and should not contain 75% moisture while silage making.
- Crops with hollow stems like maize, jowar, bajra, hybrid napier should be chaffed to an inch size to prevent trapping of air and spilage of silage.
- Crops with more moisture could be dried in sunshine for 4 – 5 hours to reduce moisture by 15%.
- If the crop is too dry add water during packing silo.
The ideal moisture content for silage preparation would be 50 – 75%. Silage production should be done taking into consideration several factors like the degree of compression and the amount of water that will be lost during the process of silage making. The weather for harvest also needs to be fairly dry.
To get maximum efficiency when it comes to nutrition, the pasture is cut when the grasses contain the highest nutrient levels during preparation. This level is attained just before they are fully mature.
The reason why it is cut just before they are fully mature is that all forms of preserved grass, such as hay and silage, will have lower amounts of nutrients than fresh pasture, so everything must be done to make the end product be as nutritious as possible.
The grass is allowed to wilt in the field for a few hours to reduce the moisture content to around 60-75% as this is the optimum level. If the grass is left out longer, it may get too dry, or it may get rained on. Both these scenarios are not preferred as it will reduce the efficiency of the fermentation.
Infrastructure that is generally needed:
In addition to choosing the right crop, there are a couple of boxes that need to be ticked.
- The presence of siloes
- Fodder/crop harvester
- Chaff cutter
Getting this infrastructure might not exactly be your area of expertise as you may have multiple things to take care of. Here is where we come into play. Our experience at silage making in India & choosing the rich crop for maximum efficiency will be of immense use to your business.
Specializing in harvesting, baling as well as logistics, we work best with farmers by sending in a team of experts who will come to your farm, harvest the crop and pack it in the best possible conditions. Cornext offers baling & logistic services to large dairy farms as well as farmers who can identify the maize crop for silaging.