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Silage

 

1. Introduction
2. What is Corn Silage?
3. Best Practices of Silage Preparation
   3.1. Selection of Corn Hybrid
   3.2. Construction of Bunker
   3.3. Harvesting at Proper Time
   3.4. Use of Inoculants
   3.5. Compaction
   3.6. Sealing
   3.7. Silage Feeding
4. What are Inoculants?


1. Introduction

Livestock farming is growing rapidly in Pakistan. Better performing Genetics, ideal Environment and Nutrition are three basic principles for profitable farming. In Pakistan current supply of fodder is 40% less than actual demand which affects production of animals negatively. To fulfill this fodder deficiency, farmers feed wheat straw to their animals which not only increases costs but also has no nutritional value. Moreover environmental factors, unavailability of labor and decrease in agricultural land for fodder make availability of nutritive feed impossible. The simplest solution of this problem is Pioneer
Corn Silage. Pioneer Corn Silage not only decrease total expenditures on feed but also makes farming profitable by increasing milk and meat production. Pioneer researchers have exclusively developed Proven Highly Digestible (PHD) hybrid seeds of maize crop for livestock feeding; yielding very good tonnage with higher digestibility and uniform supply of quality nutrients at farm round the year. Ensiling (Cutting and fermenting) corn fodder for ensuring continuous and uniform fodder supply is the only workable option for Pakistani farmers. Increased nutrients supply to the animals enables them to perform decent both in milk and meat production; consequently, resulting in improved profit margins and a prosperous life for producers, while; healthy food products also have upright impact on overall health of community.

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2. What is Corn Silage?

 

Corn Silage is preserved fodder of whole (with cobs) corn plant in which nutritional value of corn is stored for longer period of time.

Silage can be prepared with all crops but corn silage is more profitable due to following reasons.

  • Highly Digestible
  • Nutritive than other silages
  • Delicious for animals
  • Easy and economical
  • Long life
  • Balance nutrition round the year
  • Increase milk and meat production

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3. Best Practices of Silage Preparation

3.1. Selection of Corn Hybrid

Corn Silage with best nutrient should be Proven Highly Digestible (PHD)
Pioneer introduced PHD types of corn hybrids, characteristics following are:
 
  • Higher yield (› 20MT/Acre)
  • Higher Grain Ratio (40%)
  • Higher Energy (› 10MJ/kg of DM)
  • Higher Protein (7% - 8%)
  • Higher Digestibility (› 70%)

 

DuPont Pioneer Recommended PHD Corn Hybrids for Silage

For Autumn Sowing

For Spring Sowing

30T60

P1543, 32B33

3062, 30Y87

P1574, 31P41

Spring Sowing

Region

Sowing Time

Punjab

Mid-December to End-March

Upper Sindh/Rahim Yar Khan

1st December to Mid-March

Lower Sindh

1st October to End-February

Autumn Sowing

Region

Sowing Time

Punjab

Mid-May to Mid-September

Upper Sindh/Rahim Yar Khan

1st Jun to Mid-September

Lower Sindh

1st Jun to Mid-September

(JPG 1 MB)
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3.2. Construction of Bunker

Corn Silage can be prepared in bunkers, pits or piles but bunkers are better than other methods for getting high quality silage.

During construction of bunkers following things should be keep in mind

  • Selection of suitable site
  • No. of animals
  • Bunker site
  • Availability of crop for silage

 

Note: Bunker length, width and height can be designed according to needs.

Bunker Size

Area (acres)

Production (ton)

Length (ft)

Width (ft)

Height (ft)

1

20 - 25

25

15

6

5

100 - 125

50

15

6

10

200 - 250

80

25

6

15

300 - 375

100

25

8

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3.3. Harvesting at Proper Time

Harvesting crop with maize harvester at proper moisture and maturity is critical for

  • Elimination of oxygen in the silage mass
  • Providing sufficient water soluble carbohydrates (sugars) to drive the fermentation process to completion.

For corn silage, corn grain should typically be at half milk line and whole plant moisture at 65%. Kernel processing is advised on corn silage because:

  • It improves starch availability.
  • It improves digestibility of silage.
  • It improves the quality of fermentation.
  • It may improve pack density.

Chop Length:

Theoretical length of chop (TLC) can be set from 3/8" to 3/4". Short chopped silages may be harder to feed at high inclusion levels in a ration because physically effected fiber is critical for rumen health. Longer chopped silages will be harder to pack.

Note: If silage harvester is not available, crop can be chopped with Toka at size of 1- 2 cm.

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3.4. Use of Inoculants

For getting high quality silage, suitable Pioneer brand Inoculants should be sprayed on crop during filling into bunkers. Because their use:

  • Speeds up fermentation process
  • Improves quality of fermentation
  • Increase bunk life
  • Decrease heat losses
  • Increase digestibility of Silage

Note: Solve 50g Pioneer inoculant in 25 liter of water and spray it on one ton of chopped fodder at rate of half liter per ton.

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3.5. Compaction

Packing is one of the most critical elements of making quality silage. Poorly packed silage will have extended plant cell respiration resulting in an increased loss of digestible nutrients. Entrapped air can allow the growth of aerobic micro-organisms (yeasts and molds) which are detrimental to the ensiling process.

    • Keep slope at approximately 300.
  • Pack in thin layers ‹ 6".
  • Ideal pack density is › 20 Kg/ft3

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3.6. Sealing

Covering is extremely important to keep air and moisture from penetrating into the silage mass. Covering with a heavy grade plastic (>8mm) will minimize spoilage of silage. White plastic will help reflection of sunlight and reduce moisture formation under plastic more than black plastic. Plastic should be weighted down with used tires or mud to keep the plastic tightly secured and in direct contact with the silage mass.

Note: Complete bunker filling process in one day. If not possible, cover bunker every day after filling bunker in layers as shown in following fig and try to complete this process as soon as possible.

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3.7. Silage Feeding

Silage is ready to feed after 30 - 40 days. Good silage is brownish in color and gives vinegar like smell. Thumb-rules of good silage bunker face management at the time of feed out include

    1. Always open silage bunker from front face.
  • Silage should be removed from bunker face by shaving the silage face from top to bottom.
  • Feed off a minimum 6 inches across the entire face daily and keep the face clean.
  • Remove and dispose of visible moldy crust from bunker surface when pulling back cover.
  • Don't allow loose silage to lie in front of the bunker until next feeding.
  • Don't remove silage and store on feed pad for later feeding.
  • Uncover silage only at the time of feeding and never keep it uncovered.
 

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4. What are Inoculants?

Preserve Corn Silage With Pioneer Brand Inoculant

    • Ensures Fast & Efficient Fermentation
  • Increases Shelf Life of Silage
  • Increases Productivity
  • Reduces Dry Matter Losses
  • Prevents from Fungus and Aflatoxins

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For Further Information Please contact Pioneer Representatives.

Last Modified:June 8, 2016
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