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The Process of Making Silage

The Process of Making Silage:
There’re four steps to make silage: harvesting, chopping, adding additives, bagging storage.
1) Harvest. The raw materials should be harvested at a proper time basing on the principle to get as more nutrition as possible. If harvest too early, the water content of the raw material is too much and the digestible nutrient is small; if harvest too late, the cellulose content is increased and the palatability is poor with low digestibility.
2) Chopping. The raw material must be chopped for bagging and storage easily. For example, corn straw, silphium perfoliatum straw or chicory straw must be chopped to about 1 - 2 cm to make sure the forage will be compacted during ensilaging. For some soft forage which is easy to compacting such as herbage and vine, easy compaction, it’s better to cut as 3-5 cm.
3) Adding Additive. Adding additive immediately after the raw material being chopped to push the raw material fermented quickly. Additive can be 2-3% sugar, formic acid (add 3-4kgs 85% contents formic acid per ton of silage materials), amylase and cellulase, urea, ammonium sulfate, ammonium chloride, etc.
4) Bagging and Storage. Silage can be stored by plastic bags, cellaring and professional silage wrap film. For plastic bag packing, the silage raw material is put into special plastic bags, people compact it with hands and feet, and then air-bleed, seal the bag when it’s filled full. For cellaring, first put 10-15cm thick straw on the cellar bottom to absorb the juice and put thin plastic film around the cellar to prevent water and air leakage. It must be compacted heavily by human beings or bulldozers, and can be sealed until the inner silage 60cm higher than the cellar edge. When seal the top, first put a layer of short straw, then plus a layer of plastic thin film, at last cover it with soil. Dig the drainage ditch 1 meter away from the cellar to prevent the rainwater inflow. Silage wrap film package is the most convenient way for silage now, will introduce how to pack by silage wrap film in the next chapter.