Friday, August 25, 2006

 

What are the benefits of wilting ?

Wilting has a number of advantages that should be attempted if conditions permit:

Anyway, it is better to save a silage at 25% DM rather than to loose it under the rain when weather conditions are not going to improve.


 

What is dry matter ?

Dry matter (DM) is the amount of dry material in the forage.
The nutritional value of the crop can be defined as the energy and protein content per kg. of DM.
Therefore moisture content of grass can be a major problem, but wilting will produce satisfactory results. Wilting is important both for a good fermentation and adequate bale density.
When wilting it is important that grass does not remain in the field for long periods. Losses during the wilting process are mainly due to plant respiration and teaching of nutrients by rain.

If the DM content is 55%, the forage contains 55 % dry matter and 45 % water.

Examples of DM content:
The usual DM content of hay is 85%,
the DM content of silage can vary from around 25 % right up to more than 70 %.
When the DM exceeds 55 % it is normally referred to as haylage. Haylage with a high DM content has less preservative protection in the form of lactic acid, and is mostly dependent on the oxygen-free environment being maintained during storage.

 

Why use haylage?

The low moisture content of hay ( about 10% ) means the mould spores become airborne and may cause an allergic respiratory disease called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ( COPD ) - commonly known as "dust cough" or "dust allergy".
Up to a fifth of horses suffer from sub-clinical dust allergies. Once a horse has been affected it will never recover and will always need special attention to minimize exposure to dust in order to control the disease.

 

What is haylage ?

Haylage is a way of preserving forage, just as silage or haymaking are another.

Haylage is a feed made from grass that is dried as quickly as possible aftermowing. It is then baled and wrapped with a minimum of 8 layers of top quality stretch film eventhough some professional contractors use between 10 or 12 layers to achieve a maximum airtightness.

The preservation process is based on lactic acid bacteria starting to produce lactic acid, which in turn lowers the pH. For the lactic acid bacteria to reproduce, the environment must be oxygen-free. By lowering the pH value in combination with the oxygen-free environment, means that other bacteria and mould, cannot grow in the haylage.
When making Haylage, dry matter (DM) will be usually higher than 60% therefore, the fermentation process is weaker and slower compared to wet silage making. This means that oxygen risks of not being totally consumed and moulds can develop regardless the number of layers of stretch film applied.
Sometimes it is recommended the use of a suitable liquid additive at baling that will provide high levels of fermentable carbohydrates to promote a rapid lactic acid fermentation and will improve the DM preservation of your haylage. Ideally, the makers of haylage should be highly experienced at making the product, and have a good understanding of the requirements for horses.

A typical haylage analysis shows values like these:

Crude Protein (%) 8-10
Dry Matter (%) 65-70
Crude Fibre 28-32
Digestibility 60-70
Energy (Mj/Kg) 9-11

 

What is the difference between silage and haylage?

The original term for all fermented forage is really silage. Haylage is a recent name that has come about for silage made with high dry matter content.
There is not a real limit as to what constitutes silage and what is haylage, but when the content of dry matter exceeds around 50%, the forage is usually referred to as haylage. As haylage contains less water (higher dry matter) and less sugars than silage, less lactic acid is produced in haylage.
The lactic acid bacteria need sugar to grow and enable the production of lactic acid to begin. Haylage is thus preserved as a result of an oxygen-free environment, and less as a result of lactic acid production and a low acidity.

 

What is polyethylene?

Polyethylene is the basic ingredient used in the manufacturing of agricultural stretch films.
Polyethylene is a plastic polymer resulting from the polymerisation of ethylene (C2H4).

Polyethylene (PE) is the largest volume polymer consumed in the world. It is a versatile polymer that offers high performance relative to other polymers and alternative materials such as glass, metal or paper. It is probably the polymer you see most in daily life. It is widely used in shopping bags, shampoo bottles, children's toys and even pipes .

For such a versatile material, it has a very simple structure, the simplest of all commercial polymers. A molecule of polyethylene is nothing more than a long chain of carbon atoms, with two hydrogen atoms attached to each carbon atom. Polyethylene is defined by its grade (hot fluidity) and density (weight/volume), e.g. Low density polyethylene (LDPE); Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), medium density polyethylene (MDPE), High density polyethylene (HDPE).
A polymer is a type of molecule that takes the form of a long chain. The word polymer comes from two Greek words, poly meaning many and mer meaning parts. So, as het name implies, polymers are made of many parts, called monomers or monomeric units, that are chained together.
Ethylene is obtained by heating naphtha very intensely (“cracking”).
and Naphtha is another word for petroleum. You get naphtha from crude oil.

Monday, August 14, 2006

 

What are the advantages of silage wrapping?

There are many advantages of using this system:


 

What is silage wrapping?

Silage wrapping is the method of using a special plastic film to make bales of fodder preserving and storing them in airtight conditions.
Bales sealed with airtight plastic, are kept in the same package until they are required to feed the animals.
The moisture and lack of oxygen promote fermentation which preserves forage quality.

 

Silage Wrap World

Welcome to Silage Wrap World, a place where everybody interested in Silage is invited to openly discuss the many aspects of this forage conservation technique.

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