Avoid reheating in the bunker silo

Updated on:
April 10, 2024
Silage removal technology
Karoline Glöckner


Step by step to the perfect cut surface

Once the feed has been brought in, distributed, compacted and covered, the lactic acid bacteria can do their work and high-quality silage is then produced by an intensive fermentation process. To keep feed losses low even after opening it up, while also maintaining high-quality silage, careful extraction technology is required, as well as care and attention with its operation. Particularly in summer, high temperatures at the surface of the silo tower can favour the formation of yeasts and fungal moulds. This often leads to substantial feed losses. Since the quality of basic feed is decisively important for good milk yields, it is worth taking a closer look at this topic and you should invest in modern technology.

What are you actually talking about when you speak of reheating? – Without exception, the core temperature of the cooled silo tower should be approx. 15°C. If the temperature of the silage is more than 10°C above this, we speak of ‘reheating in the silo’. The greatest challenge often lies in maintaining feed quality after opening the silo.

Greyish-white mould can form in silage with a loosened up surface.

A smooth cut using the MAMMUT shear grab: The cutting edge remains firm and unblemished.

5 tips to prevent reheating

1. Sufficient feed rate:

Wherever yeasts come into contact with oxygen, the silage loses its resistance to heating. However, since this process takes some time and does not occur immediately, frequent extraction usually causes no feed losses, or only slight ones. In summer, the feed rate in the mobile silo should therefore be at least 2.5 m and in winter a minimum of 1.5 m per week.

2. Ideal dry mass content:

If the TM content is too high, above 40%, fermentation is less effective because dry grass is difficult to compact. After opening, the feed is able to heat up more easily and the entire silo tower is affected. Therefore, right at the harvesting stage, you should pay attention to the level of wilting to prevent quality impairments during silage extraction at a later date.

3. Correct harvesting time:

The harvesting time is decisive in relation to the subsequent steps in silage making. Cutting too late leaves a high proportion of raw fibre which makes compaction difficult when making silage. Especially if pockets of fermentation occur due to a lack of compaction, reheating is often inevitable after opening the silo. So make the most of the correct harvesting window and avoid cutting crops too late.

4. Suitable fermentation period:

It takes several weeks for acetic acid to form inside the silo. To assure a favourable fermentation process, the silo tower should not be opened for at least 6 weeks – and an even longer fermentation period is recommended for summer silage.

5. Smooth initial cut:

Extraction technology should leave a smooth and first cut surface. The less air that enters the silo when cutting out feed, the more stable the quantity. With a firm cut edge, yeast or fungal mould gets no chance at all.

During silage extraction it is important to leave a clean cut surface.

The MAMMUT shear grab is suitable for pure grass silage and also for mixed sandwich types of silage.

As sharp as a razor blade: with a cut edge like this, yeast or fungal mould gets no chance at all.

Especially at high temperatures, loose feed heats up more easily because oxygen can penetrate into the pores.

The cut makes the difference

The MAMMUT SILO CAT silage shear grab was specifically designed to leave only the best of feed in the flat silo. The priority development objective was to provide a device for the future capable of coping with big stress loadings and with a design that prevents the accidental ingress of air into the silo. The shape of the silage shear and its double-walled concept with internal reinforcements form the basis for easy cutting characteristics that protect the feed. A welded and precise Hardox knife cutter and the slim surface of the cutter blade also produce a sharp cut through the feed. Remarkably little effort is required to cut out the silo block using MAMMUT silage shears. The result is a smooth cut surface that does not heat up, even at high ambient temperatures.

Welded Hardox knife for optimum cutting characteristics.

The cutting radius approaches the ‘neutral phase’.

Double-walled design: All reinforcements are inside the blade.

A compact block for laying in a stock

With silage extraction it is not only important for the silo tower to remain undamaged and firm – especially when laying in stock or in conjunction with automatic feeding systems, storage of the cut out silo block is often necessary. To maintain silage quality in the feed kitchen, it is desirable to aim for a compact result. With the MAMMUT shear grab, feed is extracted gently: Thanks to the smooth surface inside and outside the cutting basket, the block is not aerated during silage extraction. The block can therefore be laid into stock perfectly, specifically in an automatic feeding context (feed kitchen).

Silage extraction as the basis for economy and animal welfare

Reheated silage invariably causes huge energy losses and changes in odour that in turn lead to a reduction in feed intake – the animals eat less of it. If reheating causes greyish-white mould to form in the feed, this can reduce the absorption of dry mass which can in turn reduce milk yields. Increased cell contents in the milk or diseases such as udder inflammation or ketosis are other outcomes of feeding cattle with sub-standard or mouldy silage. To keep your cows health and to achieve good performance levels, it is essential to present them with high-quality feed consistently over an extended period.

16 models offer a maximum range of choice

Shear grab SILO CAT is a very versatile device because there is such a wide range of choice of types. The block volume varies by size of unit from 0.48 m³ to 3.52 m³. MAMMUT silage shears and shear buckets are always divided into four ranges: The ‘N’ with an opening height of 70 cm, the ‘M’ with a block height of 80 cm, the ‘H’ series that can open up to 1.10 m. And the largest type, the ‘XL’, with an impressive opening dimension of 1.30 m. There is a correspondingly large range of different widths for each size of unit. This provides a big selection of silo shears for your specific carrier vehicle and bunker silo.

More about silage extraction technology from MAMMUT

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