Department of Animal Husbandry, Department of Biochemistry
Feeding trials using beef cattle were conducted with baled alfalfa hay and with alfalfa silage stored in the stack, trench, and upright silo.
Based upon feed costs at the time of storage, the average feed costs per 100 pounds of gain for the several experiments were as follows: baled hay, $18.70; upright silo, $22.35; trench silo, $30.58; and stack silo, $33.58. The greatly increased costs in the case of the trench and stack were the result of excessive fermentation and spoilage losses because air was not properly excluded.
The chemical composition of the dry matter of the various silages was quite similar. However, the spoilage was considerably different in its composition from the edib]e silage. This was especially true where chemical determinations of digestibility were made, the values for the spoiled silage being very low.
Dry matter and nutrient losses were determined on hay and the various silages for 1 year's work. The amount of loss was largest when air was not properly excluded (stack and trench).
This work emphasizes the need to provide storage for alfalfa silage of a type which will prevent exposure to air for satisfactory preservation of nutrients. In deciding what type of storage to use, the operator should consider this as well as the many other factors related to cost and convenience.
alfalfa silage nutritive value, storage method effects on alfalfa silage
South Dakota Experiment Station, South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts
McCone, W. C. and Olson, O. E., "Alfalfa Silage Effect of Storage Methods on Feeding Value and on Preservation of Nutrients" (1959). Research Bulletins of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station (1887-2011). 479.