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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Holmes, Brian
item Muck, Richard

Submitted to: Wisconsin Forage Council Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/27/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Spoilage losses in bunker silos can be minimized by attaining a high silage density. Earlier work found that tractor weight and packing time per ton as fed were important factors. However, these factors only explained a small portion of the variation in density across silos. In this study, core samples to measure density were taken from over 160 bunker silos on commercial farms. In addition, farmers were surveyed relative to their packing practices. Information requested from farmers included: number of packing tractors, tractor weight, number of tires per tractor, tire pressure, tire condition, number of drive wheels, silage delivery rate, packing time per day, harvest time per day, filling time, filling technique, initial layer thickness, silo dimensions, maximum silage height, crop, crop maturity, and theoretical length of cut. These factors were then correlated with measured dry matter densities. Preliminary results indicate ethat dry matter density was positively correlated with total packing tractor weight and inversely correlated with the initial depth of the crop when spread in the silo. Self-compaction was evident in that taller silos had higher densities. Packing time per ton was poorly correlated with density, but this may have been due to a negative correlation between packing tractor weight and packing time per ton. Use of rear duals or all duals on packing tractors appeared to have little effect on density. Other factors such as tire pressure, crop and average particle size did not appear significantly correlated with density.

Last Modified: 09/23/2017
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