If silage face management isn’t the best it could be, it might be costing you a 10% loss in dry matter. Read tips to minimize silage exposure to oxygen and best management practices to help reduce spoilage.
Alfalfa contains sugars that start to degrade after mowing, and sugars are needed to drive the ensiling fermentation. The key to high-quality hay silage is to wilt the crop to the proper DM level as quickly as possible.
As the air begins to chill and the fields change from their summery shade of green to that “almost ready” shade of brown, farmers are anxious to move their harvest equipment from the shop to the fields.
The ideal wilt window when harvesting small-grain forages for silage is at least 32% dry matter (DM), and preferably to greater than 35% DM, following mowing. Hitting this critical wilt window is important.