Dow Supports New Silage Advisory Centre to Aid Farmers' Decision-Making
Industry experts in the UK and Ireland have recently teamed up to create the Silage Advisory Centre (SilAC), designed to improve the ability of farmers to produce quality and nutritional silage at a reasonable profit and to aid decision-making regarding silage production, forage conservation and grassland management. Read more

Using red clover as a silage crop
Improving productivity and reducing costs is the ultimate dream for livestock farmers facing sluggish prices and low margins, particularly in dairy. However, recent research shows that introducing red clover as a silage crop could achieve just that, by bringing significant advantages in terms of input reduction and increased nutritional values. Read more

Ensiling red clover
Growing and ensiling protein and energy crops on-farm has many benefits. Not only does it give farmers more control over feed costs during autumn and winter, but research shows that different forages also increase feed intake and improve production response. Read more

Feeding red clover silage
Red clover as a silage crop offers a high protein forage that can be mixed with grass silage to maximise milk yields and feed conversion efficiency, as well as reducing the costs of farm inputs such as fertiliser and concentrates. Read more

Which system is best for storing silage?
Tower silo, round bale, tube or clamp silo? A long-standing debate in the farming community where many different aspects come to play: labour requirements, capital costs, dry matter losses and plastic film consumption. Simply put, no system truly offers the optimal benefits from all points of view. A recent study conducted in Sweden contributes to the debate by comparing costs for harvesting and storage in round bales with clamp silo in a 70ha farm. Read more

Improving productivity and reducing costs with Red Clover silage
Management strategies to improve productivity and reduce costs have never been more important than now. Recent research by IBERS has shown that the introduction of red clover as a silage crop offers significant cost savings and increased milk production potential on dairy farms. Read more

Re-baling: a suitable method for producing small bale silage and haylage for horses
Over the past years there has been an increased interest in feeding baled silage and haylage to horses. However, conventional big bales are often not suitable farms and stables housing only a few horses due to their size. The production of small bales is often seen as a solution although the lack of commercially available equipment adapted for this type of forage production is often a shortfall. So, is re-baling a suitable alternative method? Read more

Baled silage of pressed sugar beet pulp
Sugar beet pulp can easily been ensilaged in round bales. This technique has existed in Sweden for many years. It has gained popularity for its good nutrition qualities that can replace cereals for high yielding cows. Read more

New research study: 'Comparing the effects of the number of wrap layers applied to bales on silage preservation, losses and nutrient quality'
The new research commissioned by Dow and conducted by the Falenty Institute (IMUZ) in Poland confirms previous research studies on the positive effects of increasing the number of wrap layers on silage bales on fermentation, dry matter losses, quality and nutritive value of silage. Read more

A comparative study on pre-wilting techniques: wide-spreading and swathing
The results of a recent study by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences show that it is easier to achieve dry matter content levels for good silage quality with the wide-spread crop technique. Read more

When to Handle a Round Bale?
It is becoming more common to press and wrap round bales on the field using a combined baler and wrapper machine. The discussion has been intense among farmers and contractors on when the bales should be removed from the field for storage. The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences provides a scientific view on this open question. Read more

The effect of wilting time and number of film wrap layers applied to baled grass on silage quality
A recent study from the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research in Wales shows that increasing the number of film layers applied to grass bales reduces air ingress, reduces silage dry matter loss and mould growth, and results in a more efficient fermentation. So increasing bale film layers results in more silage of a better quality to feed to livestock. Read more

Benefits from applying additional film layers
The application of an additional two layers of film, from four to six, has become more popular in recent years as it has been shown to provide a more robust oxygen barrier resulting in less spoilage of bales by yeasts and moulds, as well as more stable and consistent silage at feed out. Recent research at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER) evaluating film layering at different dry matter contents, provides evidence that increasing film layers results in significant improvements for farmers. Read more

Comparative use of lucerne/cocksfoot hay and a similar crop baled, by 18-month-old saddle horse
Trials have been conducted by the National Studs of Chamberet (France) comparing horse eating behaviour when fed with the same crop mix but stored in the form of hay or baled silage. In this article, Catherine Trillaud-Geyl, expert National Studs, presents the differences on the appetite, quantities ingested and weight observed. The results show that bale silage has a positive influence on the horse appetite, feed intake, and increased animal growth.Read more

Effect of ensiling method on the quality of red clover and Lucerne silage
Legumes are perceived as difficult crops to ensile due to their low sugar content and high buffering capacity. Red clover and lucerne crops were harvested as round bales or ensiled as precision chopped and stored in clamps. Nutritive value of the silages was assessed by feeding to lambs. Research conducted by The Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER) in the UK. Read research summary paper

Baled silage of legumes and lupins
Research at IGER has shown the potential for big bale silage system to conserve high value protein and energy crops. Read research summary paper

The influence of crop maturity and type of baler on whole crop barley silage production
Research conducted by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences shows that the ensiling of whole-crop barley at dough stage results in higher forage production per hectare and that balers with a restricted number of knives give lower losses than other machine types. Read research summary paper or Download scientific poster (543KB PDF)

Whole crop silage from barley fed in combination with red clover silage to dairy cows
Grass silage is the basic feed in Swedish dairy cow rations. The nitrogen utilisation in this type of diet is, however, low. A combination of forage legume protein and whole crop silage carbohydrates might be a solution to this problem. From other countries in Northern Europe the experience from feeding barley whole crop silage in combination with legumes is that it is possible to maintain a reasonable high milk production and at the same time have a good protein utilisation. Read research summary paper

Use of silage additives in ensiling of whole-crop barley and wheat: a comparison of round big bales and precision chopped silages
An increasing use of whole-crop cereals, as supplementary feed, has aroused the task to find an efficient way of preserving those forages to achieve a high hygienic quality. It is known that ensiling of whole-cereals often results in silages with high concentrations of butyric acid and problems with poor aerobic stability still persists despite of the use lactic acid bacteria. The research conducted by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences examines the different types of additive mixtures to improve fermentation process and aerobic stability in precision chopped and baled silages. Read research summary paper

Lab trials flag differences in film performance
Laboratory trials carried out on silage stretch wrap films have flagged a series of differences that could hold the key to improving baled silage quality. The tests, carried out by Dow found significant variations between different films in terms of oxygen permeability, tear resistance, and ‘neck-in’ tendency, all of which have a direct impact on silage quality and spoilage. Read full article

Cost comparison Bales Silage versus Clamp — Experience from the UK
The first full comparison of the costs of baling versus clamping — jointly developed by The Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER) in the UK and DOWLEX™ PE Resins manufacturer Dow — has given a significant boost to baling, showing the possibility to save up to £13.86 (€ 20) per tonne of fresh silage fed over clamping the same crop. These results can vary in other countries and research is currently ongoing to produce country-specific data for France, Germany and Sweden. Read full article

Nutrient Losses in Relation to Film Colour and Number of Layers
Research conducted at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences compared black and white film using 4, 6 and 8 layers of film. Read research results

The effects of film colours and number of wrap layers on spoilage, nutrient quality and potential impact on animal production
During 2002, Dow commissioned a study at CEDAR (Centre for Dairy Research) at Reading University in the UK, to compare the effects of film colours and number of wrap layers on spoilage, nutrient quality and potential impact on animal production. Specifically, the research assessed: dry matter losses, wastage, fermentation characteristics, and nutritive value. Read research results