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Air infiltration decreases quality

Maize silage quality deteriorates, when exposed to air.  This applies to the storage period of the silage when the silo is not correctly sealed, as well as the time period during the utilization of the silage.

The culprits causing this deterioration in quality are yeasts, which multiply rapidly with the presence of air.

They break down lactic acid, sugar and other nutrients into carbon dioxide and water, during which they release energy causing the so called re-heating effect.  
The diagram on the right shows an example of an experiment conducted, confirming that the majority of maize silages have a lower storage life when exposed to air infiltration.

The resulting air infiltration, causing aerobic nutrients loss due to yeast, has three effects:

  • Less Dry Matter
  • Decline in hygienic quality
  • Less Methane formation potential

 

Influence of re-heating on the Methane yield of maize silage

The effect of re-heating of silage can be dramatic. If nothing is done to stabilize the substrates, the gas formation potential declines considerably.

Impressively, fermentation tests prove that re-heating leads to a significant decline in gas yield.