Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Influence of pre-wilting degree on conservation of grass

In the years 1996 to 1998 we investigated the influence of the dry matter content on fermentation and on aerobic stability in grass silage. Therefore, we ensiled forage of the same plots with two different dry matter contents in tower silos in 1996 and in square bales in 1997 and 1998. In some cases we also ensiled the same forage in 30-l-silos, but with five different pre-wilting degrees.<br>In all comparisons the fermentation intensity decreased with increasing pre-wilting degree and the silages with the higher dry matter contents had higher sugar contents. There were no problems with butyric acid.<br>In the tower silos and in the 30-l-silos, where the consolidation in most cases was about 200 kg dry matter per m3, the silages with higher pre-wilting degrees were more susceptible for aerobic instability than the silages with lower dry matter contents. Exactly the opposite finding was observed in the square bale silages. Here, the consolidation was relatively high and furthermore, it was increased with the pre-wilting degree up to more than 300 kg DM per m3.

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