Maize silage 2015: Valuable tips from the AGRAVIS expert
As a rule, maize can be ensiled fast and at low loss. The silage quality mostly does not present any problem. The risk posed by maize silages is post-heating, which is associated with high losses. In practical application, this risk is often underestimated or even ignored. AGRAVIS expert Dr Sabine Rahn provides valuable tips for the upcoming maize ensilage.
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What extent of losses must be assumed to be caused by post-heating?
Dr Sabine Rahn: Post-heating means both a loss of nutrients and energy and a loss of mass. Thus, for every day of post-heating, the dairy production value of silage drops by at least 40 litres per ton of silage. Added to this is a loss of mass of approx. 30 kilogram per ton and day. Thus, the economic damage is huge. Compared to this, remedial measures that can be taken to avoid post-heating are often inexpensive and simple.
Inexpensive and simple – what then can actually be done?
Rahn: Silage management is always the decisive factor because problems with post-heating are often caused by inadequate care during storage and faults made during removal. That means, tasks that anyway have to do with ensilage. A basic requirement is the airtight storage of silage, even during removal. For this reason, compaction and coverage must be executed in the best possible manner. Many silages are still not adequately compacted. That happens when shredder capacity and compaction capacity do not match. The ensiled layers are also often too heavy. At this point, there is still a great need for optimisation. Another example of an imperfect exclusion of air is the coverage of the clamp. All too frequently, poor or unsuitable materials ( soil, tyres) are used. As far as the handling is concerned, these options seem inexpensive and simple. However, in the meantime far better procedures and materials are available.
To what extent can silage agents influence this?
Rahn: Silage agents provided added security. With BioCool and Plantasil, AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG offers high-performance biological silage agents to safeguard aerobic stability and to avoid post-heating. Compared to the losses, this is by all means a worthwhile investment.