Good compaction assures silage quality

Updated on:
December 6, 2023
Silage loading technology
Karoline Glöckner


The silage roller complements the feed harvesting operation

Now it’s showtime: Getting silage-making equipment into gear, load wagon attached – off to the meadow – now is harvesting time! Today it is essential to know just how to cultivate and manage arable land, and to obtain the maximum yield from harvesting operations. Even during the silage-making process in flat silos, this technology plays a decisive role: Spreading and compacting in the silo are at least as important as mowing, preparing and swathe-making. We have tackled the topic of proper compaction in the mobile silo and have come up with some good solutions for excluding air from the silo altogether.

Half-compacted through good spreading

Uniform spreading in advance of the unloaded feed is important to avoid bottlenecks in the harvesting process and to avoid downtime periods. The task here is to reduce the layer thickness as quickly and homogeneously as possible to a maximum of 30 cm. Also, there is a rule of thumb which states that for each 40 cm in height of loaded feed, you should drive for about 20 minutes – which also illustrates the importance of the compaction process during silage making. It also shows that it is essential, through good spreading, to create a long enough period of time for the rolling process. Compaction forces air out of the feed which prevents fermentation or fungal growth from occurring further down the line. The opposite of this is known as the ‘mattress effect’: If the lowest layer is too thick, it will not be possible, even using a lot of weight, to compact the feed at a later date.

What does the silo roller really achieve?

Opinions diverge in relation to silage compaction. However, this much is clear: The more firmly the loaded feed is compacted, the greater the silage quality. Lactic acid bacteria thrive most in the absence of air: To obtain optimum lactic acid fermentation and rapid exclusion of air, a high level of compaction and careful coverage of the silo are important requirements that should not be underestimated. If insufficiently spread or compacted beforehand, reheating and mould may occur in the silage at a later date.

The main difference between a silo roller and a tractor with conventional ballast is that the discs penetrate deeply into the feed, creating in-depth compaction. With SILO KOMPAKT, the discs, measuring 200 mm in height, achieve optimum point loading which maintains individual layers at the same thickness and keeps them firm and compact right from the outset. This is not only beneficial for the quality of silage but also means that you can drive safely when setting off with tractor and loaded trailer because the risk of tipping is minimised, since you are driving across firmer ground.

With the SILO KOMPAKT, you achieve in-depth penetration through the feed.

By way of comparison: A tractor with conventional ballast during rolling work.

The silage spreading operation can be combined to optimum effect with a rolling process.

An effective way to compress corn & grass silage

No matter whether working with corn silage or with grass silage, good compaction in the mobile silo is always very important. With the SILO KOMPAKT it is possible to combine the silage spreading operation perfectly with the rolling process: By way of example, quite simply, the silo spreader is mounted to the front of the tractor with the silage roller mounted on the back. The shape of the discs enables them to penetrate deep into the layers of feed, achieving an in-depth impact without the ‘mattress effect’. In addition to convenient operation, hydraulically adjustable models are available to complement the static variant of the MAMMUT silo roller. This means that the spread carpet of feed can be compacted to an optimum extent right across the width of the mobile silo without approaching the edge of the silo too closely with the tractor tyres. This device therefore improves silage quality while also improving workplace safety.

Double mounting: Silo spreader at the front, silo roller at the back

Result: perfectly compacted grass silage

Good compaction is also needed when harvesting corn

This firm and compact result can also be seen with corn silage

Silo roller with hydraulic lateral adjustment

Large selection of models

With the silo rollers, MAMMUT can provide a very wide range of models, with widths ranging from 2, 2.50 and even 3 metres. The SILO KOMPAKT range is divided into rigid and hydraulically movable types. With the lateral offset, the roller can be moved approximately 500 mm to left and right. Additional options such as a side edge compactor, additional ballast weights or a lighting system make the device very versatile to use, and also appealing to agricultural contracting businesses.

More about silage rollers from Mammut


200 to 300 cm roller width
Rigid frame


250 to 300 cm roller width
Hydraulically adjustable frame

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