Silage Preparation Methods

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Silage Preparation Method: Preservation of chaffed grass fodder in anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions with fermenting (fermenting culture need to be used) is known as Silage. This silage can be used in the place of green fodder when there may be short supply of green fodder.

Crops Suitable for Silage Making

Cereal green fodder like green fodder maize, Fodder sorghum, Bajra, Hybrid Napier, Sugar cane tops, Oat etc.,

Pre-requisites for silage preparation

1)Fodder

The grown-up fodder sorghum, maize and barley crop have to harvested just before fully matured as this the green fodder will have maximum nutrients. The cut material is left on the ground for at least one day or up to the green fodder loses the moisture up to 15% and the moisture of the green fodder would be 80-85 %. This 80-85 % must be the moisture percentage for quality silage to get prepared.

  Silage crops

The harvested green fodder is chaffed into pieces for making silage. The optimum size of the chaffed fodder should be of size 1.5 – 3 cm.

 Chaffing the green fodder

The chaffing machines may be used for speedy and uniform chaffing of the sorghum or maize fodder. The chaffing may be done directly into the silo pits.

Chaffing for Silage

2. Fermentation Mixture

Preparation of fermentation mixture: For preparing 1 ton silage, the following materials are required.

1. 100 gm TAPAS Silage culture (Lactic Acid Bacterial culture) OR Silage inoculant

2. Jaggery 1 kg

3. Mineral Mixture – 1 Kg

Mix all of the above into a drum by adding water may up to 5 liters. For every 1 ton of chaffed fodder the above quantity is required.

                 Silage culture            Mineral mixture for silage

3. Silo pits

Silage requires closed and airtight conditions for proper fermentation, free form infections and rodents. Different structures may be constructed, HDPE material(Silo bags) may be used, HDPE structures, corrosion free metal structures may also be used to prepare and store the silage. Standard size of 2 meter length x 2 meter wide and 2 meter depth or height can store 1 ton of silage. Surely air tight conditions are strictly required.

Silo pits

Filling of silo and compaction

Chaffed green fodder have to spread evenly on the surface of the silopit/ structures. The compaction is required for 6 inch of the chaffed fodder. For every 1 ton of the chaffed fodder the fermentation mixture of has to be applied on the fodder required for each layer mixed and then compacted.

 Applying silage culture

Compaction may be done by trampling for smaller silo structures and for larger structures different compaction methods may be used for trench like structures even tractors may be run on for compaction.

Compaction of silage

Sealing and covering the Silo pit

Sealing of the silo pits are ensured that no air is getting inside and no gas can come out of the silo pit after covering/ closing/ sealing. Farmers can use polythene sheets to ensure the air tight conditions and while using this polythene sheet care need to be taken to avoid physical damage by rats, dogs or other animals. The fermenting smell of the silage may attract these rodents to make holes in the sheet. Usually, farmers apply a layer of dried straw to avoid rodents attack on the polythene sheet. The water must not enter into the silage pit for any reason, ensure that no water is entering and take care during rainy days. Weight needs to be provided to support air tight conditions on the silage pit.

 Covering of silage

In the time span of 45-60 days silage will be ready to provide for animals. The good quality of the silage would be golden yellowish green in colour and pleasant smell. The complete silage pit must not be opened, it must be opened and at one corner and taken out to prevent dehydration of the silage. The quantity of the silage to be provided to animals depends on the type and size of the animal. Goats, Sheep, buffalo, cattle, horse and other animals may be fed with this silage.

Ready silage

Silage opened have to be completed within 30 days.

More useful links

https://www.bighaat.com/products/silage-bag-with-liner

https://www.bighaat.com/products/upl-sugargraze-forage

https://www.bighaat.com/products/chaff-cutter-tractor-cum-motor-operated

For more information on silage

https://www.cargill.co.in/how-to-make-silage-for-dairy-cows

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K SANJEEVA REDDY,

LEAD Agronomist, BigHaat.

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For more information kindly call on 8050797979 or give missed call on 180030002434 during office hours 10 AM to 5 PM

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Disclaimer: The performance of the product (s) is subject to usage as per manufacturer guidelines. Read enclosed leaflet of the product(s) carefully before use. The use of this product(s)/ information is at the discretion of user.


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