Silage Making Process


During monsson(winter), we tend to have abundant supply of grass and other green fodder and during summer, green fodder is in short supply. Traditionally, farmers use to store dried paddy as hay and maize stalks as kutty and it is used as dry fodder during summer months. But drying the fodder depletes most of the nutrients in the fodder. This article describes the process to store green fodder without depleting nutrients in it.

What is Silage?

Silage is a process where undried green fodder is chopped into small pieces, enhanced with fermentation additives and stored in airtight silo's (compact storage). Since they are stored in silo's, it got the name as Silage. Silage retains all the nutrients of green fodder and tastes good. These stored silage can be during summer.

Advantages of Silage

  • Better use of green fodder throughout the year.
  • Silage retains all the nutrients of green fodder.
  • Due to fermentation process, silage tastes better than green grass and far better than hay or kutty.
  • Silage can be stored in pits for many months.
  • Silage increases milk yield.
  • Silage improves digestion and better absorption of nutrients.
  • Silage reduces concentrate feeds and increase profitability.

Silage Making Process

Firstly, a silage pit has to be dug for storing silage. The pit size can be determined based on the amount of silage, you want to store. A pit with a dimension of 1 metre wide X 1 metre length X 1 metre depth can store 500 kilograms of silage. The pit has to be in located were water does not stagnate during rains. Surround the pit on all the sides with thick plastic sheet - you can also construct the pit using bricks and cement.

Secondly, you have to prepare the fermentation mixture. For preparing 1 ton silage, the following materials are required.

  • Jaggery or Molasses - 1 Kg
  • Salt - 1 Kg
  • Mineral Mixture - 1 Kg
  • DCP (Di-Calcium Phosphate) - 1 Kg
  • LAB (Lactic Acid Bacteria)
  • Urea - 1 Kg
Mix all of the above into a drum by adding water.

Thirdly, the fodder has to chaffed into small pieces using a chaff cutter. Add the fermentation mixture in small quantities as the fodder is loaded to chaff cutter. Position the chaff cutter so the chaffed fodder directly falls into the silage pit. Level the chaffed pieces evenly and press it hard so that all air comes out. Pressing and removing air is very important.

Fourth step is to properly seal the pit. Make sure the pit is compactly wrapped with the plastic sheet. Place some heavy object like stones so that all air comes out from the pit. Make sure water does not enter the pit during rains.

Lastly, the pit can be opened 15 days or as when needed. The silage should be golden yellowish colour. Remove fungus formations on the top layer. After opening the pit, silage should be used within 30 days.

Below video describes the silage making process.


Making silage by optimally using green fodder during winter is profitable for dairy farmers.

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