Dry matter losses of grass, lucerne and maize silages in bunker silos
An efficient feed management is important for a sustainable and economic agricultural production. One of the main points for improving the efficiency is the reduction of feed losses. In the present investigation the dry matter (DM) losses of grass, lucerne and maize silages in farm scaled bunker silos were analysed. The method of determining DM losses was the total-in versus total-out DM mass flow of the silos, including the determination of DM content and other silage parameters via manual sampling. The results taken from 48 silos showed on average for all investigated crops 9–12% of DM losses. Density and feed out rate showed a negative correlation to DM losses in maize silages. According to the applied method for determining DM losses on farm scale, a guideline of 8% can be suggested for maximum DM losses in bunker silos for grass and maize silages. The described method seems to be applicable for improving the feed management by using largely automated measurements on the harvest and feeding side.