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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #352330

Research Project: Improving Nutrient Use Efficiency and Mitigating Nutrient and Pathogen Losses from Dairy Production Systems

Location: Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research

Title: Effects of delayed wrapping of baled silage

item AKINS, MATTHEW - University Of Wisconsin
item Coblentz, Wayne

Submitted to: Popular Publication
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2018
Publication Date: 5/8/2018
Citation: Akins, M.S., Coblentz, W.K. 2018. Effects of delayed wrapping of baled silage. Popular Publication. p. 19.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Use of baled silage allows greater flexibility for harvest management when weather does not allow drying and harvesting forage as dry hay. However, timely wrapping on the day of baling can be difficult if significant numbers of bales need to be wrapped, or if a mechanical breakdown occurs. Research conducted by USDA-ARS and University of Wisconsin scientists at Marshfield, WI evaluated the effects of time delay on the subsequent fermentation characteristics and nutritive value of alfalfa baled silages. Wrapping silage bales as soon as possible after baling will have the most desirable effects on silage fermentation, and maintain the greatest forage quality. A 24-hour delay generally had minimal effects on fermentation and nutritive value, and may serve as a realistic management marker for the maximum time delay before wrapping. Delays greater than 1 day will likely result in a significantly poorer fermentation and reduced nutritive value. Proper planning is advised, including communicating with your custom bale wrapper about your anticipated schedule, or ensuring your wrapping equipment is well maintained.