Advantages of Baled Silage

One of advantages of bale silage is to improve feed quality and reduce field losses. Baled silage have many benefits compared with clamps silage as a means of conserving silage for winter feeding, including: maximizing utilization of grazed grass, flexibility,  reducing dry matter losses and an excellent ensiling alternative with high value forages.

Benefits of baled silage :

  • Less dependent on weather conditions compared to Clamp silage
  • Quality of big bale silage can be as good as clamp silage, usually better when well managed
  • Lower aerobic spoilage losses compared to clamp
  • Easy handling and feeding systems (different silage qualities can be fed when needed)
  • Tailored dietary solutions, baled silage can easily be mixed with other forages to provide optimal nutritional requirements to different types of stock on farm
  • Ideal for conservation of surplus grass and grass harvested in autumn
  • Lower dry matter losses during production and storage (<5-10%) than clamp silage
  • Flexible storage system, bales can be stored in the field or easily transported to any location on the farm
  • Limited capital investment, low transport and storage cost
  • Low pollution risk, no effluent wastage if bales are properly wrapped, especially high dry matter bales

In order to get benefit from the advantages of bale silage should be observed. All measures should purpose to preserve the high nutrient content of the fodder and safeguard hygiene.

The 11 commandments of bale silage:
  1. High proportion of valuable forage grass
  2. Fertilisation according to demand
  3. Cutting at the time of ear or panicle emergence of the dominating plant
  4. Height of cutting approximately 5 – 10 cm depending on risk of soiling
  5. Rapid pre-wilting to desired dry matter content (35 – 55 %)
  6. Chopping of crop to allow for higher compression and better substrate availability
  7. Optimum compression of crop, aiming for 200 – 220 kg of dry matter / m3
  8. Addition of silage inoculants if necessary and according to planned use
  9. Using high quality film with 55 – 70 % pre-stretching
  10. Using a minimum of 6 layers for cow and 8 or more layers of film for horse silage for increased safety against damage and better air seal
  11. Handling and storing bales very carefully