Proper storage of silage

Category: Agriculture | Tags:
Work in the field continues for all farmers engaged in cattle and dairy cattle breeding.
Silage is an essential food in the diet of farmed animals because it is excellent for storage and year-round use in the diet.
Today, in the world of rising prices of energy and raw materials, the preparation of silage has become important because it is economical to produce, and by using it, animals have a large amount of energy at their disposal in the meal.
What is important when storing silage is that the nutritional value of silage remains intact.
Lactic acid fermentation bacteria convert plant carbohydrates into organic acids.
Degradation of soluble carbohydrates by respiration can lead to loss of 50% of nutrients from ensiled mass. If the ensiled mass is well compacted and the silos closes well and quickly, the first phase ends when all the air is consumed within 4-6 hours, and when the pH in the plant mass drops to about pH 5.5.

Of course, it is important to monitor the temperature of the silage, which is often around 20 °C. When silos is closed, the temperature can rise up to 45 ° C which can lead to the silage caramelization.

Great way to keep track of your temperature changes is by using HANNA data loggers which monitor and log all of your temperatures.


Waterproof Thermologger

From storage to shipping, it’s important to monitor the temperature of your products to ensure that they are being stored in optimal conditions. Quick to setup, simple to use, the HI148 Thermologgers are ideal for monitoring temperature in applications such as food processing, transportation, museums, and horticulture.

  • Models available with one or two channels, internal and/or external sensor.
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pH decrease can be used as an indicator which shows that the lactic acid bacteria metabolized plant carbohydrates into organic acids.
The most important thing is to know that the optimal pH preserves silos and preserves silage for a long time.
In the active part, the acidification of silage begins, and within two to three days there is an enzymatic decomposition of carbohydrates and preparation of the substrate where acetic acid, lactic acid, alcohol and CO2 are produced. The decrease in pH favors the growth and development of lactic acid bacteria and a favorable pH of about 5. After 16 to 18 days when the silos or bag is closed or until the value in silage drops to about 3.4 – 4.2 pH, which of course largely depends on the moisture content of the ensiled plant mass, sugar content, etc.
When there is no ventilation and / or additional moisture, the silage can remain unchanged for a long time. The earliest date for opening and using silage is 28 days after closing the silos or ensiling bale.
When starting to use a silos or opening oxygen from the air penetrates the silage into the depths and encourages the growth and development of unwanted microorganisms. Microbial activity during silage aeration is manifested in a significant increase in the pH value of silage. The result is the release of heat and the reproduction of molds, where mycotoxins can be produced that adversely affect animal and human health.
Optimal processes in silage are those with losses between 5% and 10%.

Fermentation of lactic acid does not cause losses, while acetic acid causes losses of about 5%. Therefore, it is always recommended to monitor pH and moisture when the sum of all losses is minimal because they all depend on the process of preparation and storage of silage can be avoided and during harvest and work to be monitored and eliminated.

The recommended pH value for good preservation of silage:

corn silage

pH 3.6 – 3.8

grass silage

pH 3.9 – 4.4

legume silage

pH 4.3 – 4.8

It is important to note that as the dry matter of the ensiled plant material increases, so does the pH value of well-ensiled and stable silage.


Professional Soil pH Meter GroLine

Designed to bring simplicity to pH testing to environmental and agricultural testing, the HI98168 GroLine Professional Portable Soil pH Meter is engineered for direct insertion in soil. The specialized probe features a conical tip and a triple ceramic junction for improved performance in soils that have a low moisture content.

  • ±0.002 pH Accuracy
  • Comes with all the necessary solutions and batteries- everything you need to get started measuring right away.
  • Specialized electrode for spot checking the pH of soil and soil slurries.
The whole maize plant should contain about 35% dry matter, thus ensuring the optimal ratio between the starch content and water-soluble sugars needed to produce a sufficient amount of lactic acid which lowers the acidity below pH 4. This preserves the whole ensiled maize plant.
The ideal ratio of lactic and acetic acid should be at least 3: 1, and a pH value of pH 3.8 – 4.2. A wide range of inoculants and various additives for haylage, silage and combinations are available on the market, so be sure to consult about the most optimal use of the product and measure the temperature and pH in stored animal food.
Of course, silage is not used exclusively for animal feed, and in recent times silage has been used as a raw material in biogas plants as a source of methane for electricity production. Today, when looking for alternative energy sources, this is the segment where attention should be paid to the proper storage of silage.


K-Type Thermometer

for Industrial Applications
For easy

Designed with user functionality, performance in mind, the HI93503 is a waterproof K-type thermometer that measures temperature from -50.0 to 199.9°C (-58.0 to 399.9°F). The included batteries provide up to 3500 hours of continuous use. CAL Check™ and the Battery Error Prevention System (BEPS) ensure the highest level of accuracy and confidence. The probe is replaceable and works with an assortment of other specialized k-type probes. This meter can be certified as traceable to NIST standards upon request. Perfect for industrial and environmental temperatures.

  • ±0.4 °C/ ±0.27°F accuracy
  • Enable automatic shut off after 8 minutes, 60 minutes, or disabled


Extended Length Penetration K-Type Thermocouple Probe with Handle (500mm)


Extended Length Penetration K-Type Thermocouple Probe with Handle (1m)


Portable Thermohygrometer

of temperature and
relative humidity are
made easy with

HI9564 is a portable thermohygrometer designed to provide peak performance in harsh environments. Measurements of temperature and relative humidity are made easy with the rugged, water-resistant housing of the meter and durable casing of the HI70602 probe. HI9564 features an auto-off function after 20 minutes of inactivity, temperature readings in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, and on-screen messages to direct procedures and indicate potential errors.

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