When your maize is ensiled at the recommended DM of 32 to 35% there is still enough sugar present for fermentation to achieve a stable low pH.
Maize has a low buffering capacity so the pH falls fast, often to a pH as low as 3.5. Natural fermentation can often result in much higher proportions of acetic acid and ethanol, an indication of a less efficient fermentation which could b
Silage analysis from across the country has shown a wide variation in nutrient analysis, partly due to the challenging weather conditions impacting cutting times between farms. There have been some early first-cut silages, and then later first-cuts, which are quite different from each other in protein, energy and digestibility, according to Trouw GB’s silage-watch. This may pose feeding challenges to farmers moving between cuts this autumn, as well as large variability between farms, and consideration needs to be given to the balance of the ration to optimise rumen health and maintain performance.
When it comes to producing good quality, nutritious silage small things can make a big difference. This is especially true of mistakes. A shortcut or a small oversight can ultimately result in silage that is unusable due to insufficient dry matter content or worse, silage that is dangerous to herd health because of mould growth and the likely presence of mycotoxins or Listeria.
Many farmers have come to accept some issues, particularly with mould, as inevitable and as a necessary evil. The reality is however, it's all too often caused by someone committing one of a number of silage "sins".
Studying your silage clamp and looking at key indicators can benefit the quality of your silage at feed-out. This short video from Ecosyl highlights some of the top tips for assessing your clamp to help maximise the nutritional value of your silage.