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Forage Mixtures: Silage

By Newman Turner

Editor’s Note: This article is a part of our series on Forage Mixtures.


In making the silage in the field, water to moisten the grass is not always practicable, and molasses, to sweeten it and set in motion desirable ferments, needs water to dilute it. So, for our field self-service silage clamps, we use neither water nor molasses, nor, of course, any of the recommended acids, salts or other activators.

The site of the heap varies from year to year, so there can be no question of concrete sides or base. And though straw bales might be possible, we don’t use them because they make no difference to the amount of waste on the sides of the heap. Waste at top and sides depends entirely on the amount of compression in relation to the maturity of the crop. The coarser or more mature the crop that is being used, the greater the amount of compression needed to avoid side and top wastage. It is possible by the open-sided system to have no waste on the sides if it is built at the sides as carefully as the old stack builders built their haystacks; whereas with concrete or straw-bale walls, the silage always shrinks inwards from them, and moist air between wall and silage, which can never dry, causes decomposition.

Dredge-Corn and Silage Mixtures

Double Purpose Mixture

For cutting green as silage or harvesting for grain and feeding-straw.

double purpose mix

May be sown in autumn or spring so long as varieties of each ingredient are chosen specifically for the season of sowing.

Silage or Hay Mixture

(for spring sowing)

Silage or Hay mix
Cocksfoot
Cocksfoot grass

Arable Silage Mixture

The heaviest single-cut silage crop on all soils, which also leaves large quantities of nitrogen in the soil for subsequent crops.

Arable Silage Mix

Silage-Grazing Mixture

(Heavy Cut of Silage and two-year Grazing)

An excellent two-year ley mixture, developed from a mixture I had originally from the pioneers of Elliot mixtures, Hunters of Chester. This mixture is very quick to establish, produces a great bulk of grazing or silage, and quickly recovers from grazing. It has a life of not more than two years of really effective production, though it can be left longer for grazing if necessary.

Silage-Grazing mix

Sown at the end of August the above mixture will produce a heavy silage cut in May and be ready for grazing or a second cut in early July.

Source: Fertility Pastures

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