Maize storage: Do not panic about high temperatures
The summery temperatures of the past few days unsettle a number of farmers. What happens to the maize if it is ensiled on these hot days? AGRAVIS expert Dr Sabine Rahn has summarised the most important points again.
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Maize generally silages very well. That is also applicable to silage preparation when it occurs at high external temperatures. Should the dry matter content exceed the 35 per cent mark, fermentation in the silage begins somewhat slower. However, it still silages very well. That is as a result of the maize composition. Due to the stored starch in the cob, the water availability for lactic acid bacteria is generally still sufficient.
High temperatures in connection with high TS content is less a problem for fermentation but increases the demand considerably for silage management. A problem can arise, particularly during storage and relocation of strong dried, drought stock. Where possible, moister maize should be silaged on a clamp.
Maize with a dry matter content, which is too high, is more difficult to pack and also more difficult to chop. It is often the ears that slip by the blade and are not chopped short and cleanly. It is essential to adapt the throughput to the stock, otherwise the chop quality suffers. Subsequently packing becomes even more difficult. The more unclean the work, the more air remains in the silo. This has consequences for the quality of the silage. At the beginning of silaging, nutrients are already lost through the breathing processes and undesired yeasts and fungi reproduce. The result: The risk of an aerobic instability during retrieval output increases. Other than that, the lactic acid fermentation slows down, the pH value slowly drops and undesired anaerobic bacteria (acetic acid forming) are active for longer, which draws in even more losses. There can then be further problems in the retrieval output of this silage. The worse the pack, the easier and deeper the air penetrates upon extraction in the silage.
Bear the chopped goods and pack in mind. It is better to chop smaller and drive slower. That facilitates the pack. Be mindful when storing in thin layers (maximum 20 cm) in conjunction with high rolling weights.
3. Silage mediums
If there is an increased risk of an aerobic instability when outputting, the maize silage should be treated with the corresponding silage medium when storing. Not all silage mediums are suitable. Even if it soothes the conscience, granules are not sufficiently effective when used with higher TM content. There is a lack of water with which the active ingredients dissolve. This is also applicable for the classic sprinkling of the edge and upper layers. A sufficient accuracy of distribution must be considered for liquid products. Generally applicable: with an increasing amount of liquid, the distribution accuracy improves. Standard application of micro-application is preferred for biological silage mediums. Other than that, the lactic acid bacteria contained should belong to the heterofermentative metabolic type (e.g. Lactobacillus buchneri) and be sufficiently osmo-tolerant. Osmo-tolerance means that high dry matter content affect these bacteria less.
Use the silage medium BioCool to ensure the aerobic longevity. Alongside a high coverage rate of L. buchneri, the contained enzymes also support the silage process.
High silage temperature during storage also means high temperature in the clamp during retrieval output. Normally in aerobically stable silages, temperatures of 14-17 °C are measured. If silage occurs during summery temperatures, it is possible to expect temperatures between 20-25 °C, for example. The higher the measured silage temperature is, the higher the risk of aerobic instability. The silage can also reheat more quickly and go mouldy. To check whether the measured temperature is still a residual heat from storage, the temperature is compared with the edge area. If the silage is aerobically stable, the temperature to the edge of the clamp decreases. If there is reheating, the temperature toward the edge increases.
Bear the higher risk of aerobic instability in mind when storing. The minimum feed of this silage should be in the winter > 2.5 m and in the summer > 3.5 m. If that cannot be guaranteed, silage mediums (e.g. BioCool) must be used to secure the aerobic durability.
Further information regarding the silage matter can be found under www.silierung.de