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The anaerobic fermentation process used to preserve immature green corn, legumes, grasses, and grain plants; the crop is chopped and packed while at about 70-80% moisture and put into silos or other containers to exclude air.



preserving feed in airtight spaces, the most common method of preparing succulent feeds. Ensiling has been practiced in Europe—in Sweden and the Baltic countries —since the 18th century. Beginning in the early 19th century the process was used in Germany to preserve sugar beet residue. In the second half of the century ensiling was adopted in France (in connection with raising fodder corn) and then in the United States, Great Britain, and Switzerland. The process was first used in Russia in the late 19th century, for the preservation of sugar beet tops and pulp residue and later for the preservation of clover, alfalfa, meadow grasses, corn, and feed root crops.

Ensiling involves the following operations: mowing the bulk greens or harvesting root crops or cucurbits; hauling, chopping, and loading the green crops into the silo; and compacting and covering the silage crop. Storage in an airtight structure prevents the development of aerobic bacteria and mold fungi. The lactic acid that forms as a result of the activity of lactic acid bacteria sours the feed (optimal pH is 4.2) and suppresses anaerobic decay and the development of butyric acid.

Sugar is the source of nutrition for lactic acid bacteria, and therefore the sugar content in feed determines its suitability for ensilage. Particularly suitable for ensilage are corn, sunflower seeds, annual and perennial cereal grasses, mixtures of cereals and leguminous herbs, feed cabbage, root crops and their tops, and cucurbits. Legumes and potato tops can be ensiled, but with difficulty. Nettles, the succulent tops of tomatoes, and gourds cannot be ensiled.

Ensiling is regulated by selecting raw material according to suitability as ensilage. Various chemical substances are added to difficult-to-ensile bulk material to prevent the development of undesirable microbiological processes. Surplus sugar in the silage crop is fermented by yeasts, and alcohol and carbon dioxide form. The moisture content of the raw material must not be greater than 75 percent, and temperatures should be 35°-37°C. Dry feed is added if the moisture content is above 75 percent. Overheating causes a decrease in nutritive value and the breakdown of vitamins. Chopping up the plant material causes the release of much cell sap; as a result, carbohydrates are used better by lactic acid bacteria, and lactic acid accumulates more rapidly. Chopped material is easier to mix with other feeds, to compact, to remove from storehouses, and to distribute to animals. Green plants are ensiled when their nutrient content is the greatest and before hardening.


Zubrilin, A. A. Nauchnye osnovy konservirovaniia zelenykh kormov. Moscow, 1947.
Berezovskii, A. A. Silosovanie kormov. Moscow, 1969.
Zafren. S. Ia. Kak prigotovit’ khoroshii silos. Moscow, 1970.


References in periodicals archive ?
In glucose treatments (G1, G2, G3) after 90 day of ensiling, the amount of propionic acid was higher than lactic acid treatments (LAB1, LAB2, LAB3).
Chemical composition of sorghum prior to ensiling and its silages are shown in Table 2.
The amino acid profile attained during ensiling depends on the proteolytic potential of the ensiled plant (as reflected by protease and polyphenol oxidase activities), the tannin content, and the rates of wilting and acidification during ensiling.
The improvement in the CP content of the sugarcane additive treatments in the current experiment may be due to the fact that the dry matter of the herbage materials was sufficiently high to avoid seepage loss of silage protein since protein losses in the ensiling procedure have been reported to be dependent on the run off of the proteolytic end products with the effluent [22].
Ensiling period lasted 2 months, after that the bags were opened and the representative samples were drawn to assess the quality of silage by visual appraisal that included smell, color, texture and the amount of mould [14].
During the ensiling process, it is important that the forage material be compacted and that the air be rapidly excluded.
ENSILING big bale silage with an inoculant this coming season will reduce losses and improve forage quality, according to ADAS Pwllpeiran Research Centre, near Aberystwyth.
ENSILING is a popular method of preserving crops, especially in regions with humid climates.
A major advantage of green chop is that more usable nutrients can be salvaged per unit of land than by other methods such as pasturing, haymaking, or ensiling.