Dry Silage Considerations

August 25, 2020 6:09 PM
Blog Post

Chopping silage during rapid drying conditions always bring up the question of “How much water do I add?” The short answer: It is practically impossible to add enough to get to your desired moisture level. 

To add one point of moisture for each ton of silage you would need to add seven gallons. For example, if the silage was 55% moisture, you would need to add 70 gallons of water per ton of silage. That would calculate out to be 16,520 gallons of water for a 9’x200’ silage bag. 

The big challenge with dry corn silage is heating, which allows mold to grow. Proper packing is critical and it is highly recommended to cover with plastic as soon as possible for bunker storage. Consider chopping finer and using a kernel processor if possible, to allow for better packing. 

If you do need to add water, try to apply as evenly as possible with a spray bar to get better adsorption.   When adding water to silage in bunker silos, add water evenly to wagons prior to unloading. When using silos or bags, add water at the blower or bagger location.


Aaron Saeugling Field Agronomist in SW Iowa

Aaron Saeugling is a field agronomist in southwest Iowa for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.