Every year, the maize harvest is an important moment to process the high-quality crop into roughage. The entire process, from harvesting to the covering of the maize silage, must be properly attuned.
Appointments with contract workers
Make clear agreements with your contractor when you want to start chopping corn. The maturity of the plant must be optimal and the plot must also be easily accessible. This is important to prevent structural damage to the soil.
In addition, determining the chopping length and crushing of the grain is important, so that you can ensile the desired product. Also determine the approach speed at the silage. There must be enough time to properly pack the corn between the loads. There's no point in packing only the top layer, as you'll only be able to pack around 30 cm of the top layer properly. The use of a roller will facilitate packing.
Provide a clean ramp with, as far as possible, a clean approach route. This prevents the ingress of rough ash (sand, etc.). If necessary, also place all the wall foil over the concrete walls if it is a driving pit.
Ensure a proper dry matter percentage before harvesting. A somewhat lower percentage (30-35%) ensures that the corn can be packed more firmly. A somewhat higher percentage has slightly more nutritional value, but is more difficult to pack, which makes it more sensitive to heating.
If the approach speed to the maize silage is too high, consider having a second tractor drive on the silage if necessary.
The trick is to press as much oxygen as possible out of the silage during ensiling. In addition, you want the silage to become stable as soon as possible. The addition of a silage agent greatly promotes this process.
After ensiling the maize
As soon as the chopping is done and the silage has been packed, it is important to allow as little oxygen as possible to enter the silage. This should have been squeezed out with plenty of weight, but if it is not immediately covered with an oxygen-tight film, oxygen may quickly penetrate again.
Oxygen in the maize silage results in delayed or improper preservation. This means that heating and moulds are not inhibited and this will be at the expense of the nutritional value.
Sand on the maize silage
Applying sand to the maize silage acts as additional pressure, so that the silage remains nice and compact.