Animal health is threatened by low-quality silage.

According to Richardt Venter, a silage consultant at Agsci Unlimited; silage stands out as a top-notch storage method for premium roughage. When handled correctly, it not only retains its quality over time but also enhances it. Venter emphasized this point during his presentation at the recent World Veterinary Association Congress held in Cape Town. On the flip side, poor quality silage can pose significant risks to animals, potentially causing adverse effects and even fatalities.

Venter cautioned against mixing spoiled silage with good silage, as it worsens the situation. Poor silage quality leads to issues like reduced feed intake, weakened immunity, and impaired reproduction in animals. For maize silage, he advises maintaining a dry matter content between 35% and 40%. Silage that is too wet or dry has negative effects on feed intake. Ash content should ideally be below 4% of dry matter to avoid mineral contamination. High mineral content may disrupt nutrient uptake. Starch content, indicating energy and digestibility, should be above 30% of dry matter. Venter emphasized producing maize silage with starch content over 40%.

Source: Farmer's Weekly