The importance of compaction.
It is vital to properly pack silage to achieve an anaerobic environment rapidly after harvesting and to reduce dry matter (DM) loss. Silage porosity is determined by pack density and DM content, and it determines the rate that air can infiltrate the silo. This in turn affects the amount of spoilage that can occur during storage and feedout. Tips to achieve optimal silage density:
- Chop at the desired length to aid packing (approximately 2 cm for grass, 1-2 cm for maize and 2 cm for whole crops).
- Forage should be constantly packed while the silo is being filled.
- Fill the clamp with thin layers of forage (less than 20 cm) to ensure minimal exposure to oxygen and maximize packing efficiency.
- Use more than one packing tractor if necessary.
- Do not use double up on tractors wheels which halve the weight area applied.
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