Fermented Corn Silage Film Wrap

The corn silage that you harvest takes some time before this silage reaches optimal feed quality. Fermented corn silage needs at least three weeks of storage to get a rapid increase in acidity so that the lactic acid bacteria can leave. It makes the silage stable. In some corn silage fermentation practices, farmers often find that the decrease in pH and dissolved protein will not reach its maximum point until it exceeds three months after ensiling. 

There are stages of fermentation that make your corn silage reach its optimal level. It is also influenced by the exact maturity when you harvest the corn silage plant and the dry matter of the whole plant used. Don’t forget Kernel processing, good packaging, proper chop length, silage covering, and use of inoculants. 

The Stages of Fermented Corn Silage That You Will Always Do

In the process of forming fermented corn silage, you will go through several stages before; finally, the silage is ready to be used. In every process that is passed, there is a weight of material which is an important phase towards the optimal quality of corn silage. The following is a series of steps that you will always do when making fermented corn silage.

Aerobic Phase

In this first phase, as much oxygen as possible will be extracted from the silage through the packaging and sealing stages. This phase lasts from 0 to 2 days after ensiling. You have to pay attention to the moisture content, filling time of the silo, the length of cutting the silage, and packing the silo manually to ensure that the amount of oxygen remaining is minimal. 

The remaining oxygen will be used by the cells in the forage to convert it into carbon dioxide. This is called the process of cellular respiration. Meanwhile, aerobic bacteria use the remaining oxygen along with plant sugars to produce water, heat, and carbon dioxide. 

You will get a short aerobic phase if you pack and seal the silo properly. Farmers will try hard to avoid long aerobic phases as this can damage the quality of the final forage. Forage quality can be damaged as the temperature in silage becomes very high, even exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, due to its long aerobic phase. 

This also increases the risk of high dry matter loss and fungal growth. The emergence of mycotoxin production and the emergence of Maillard reactions. The browning of the forage characterizes this reaction due to the conversion of digestible protein to indigestible bound protein. 

Lag Phase

The aerobic phase makes the pH of the silage drop from 6.5 to 6. After the aerobic phase is complete, your corn silage will enter a lag phase, wherein in this phase, the oxygen is completely depleted. Then plant cells will be broken down, and bacteria will take it as a food source. Bacteria are easy to consume their food with the help of plant enzymes that break down complex carbohydrates, fiber, and starch into simple sugar. Protein can also become more soluble because of this plant enzyme. In this phase, the pH of corn silage decreased from 5.7 to 5.5, and the acidity increased. si

Anaerobic Phase

The silage pH has dropped to below 5.7, the oxygen has been removed, and the available cell juice makes lactic acid bacteria grow. Lactic acid bacteria multiply together with some of the acetic acids, thereby increasing the acidity of the further silage. 

Lactic acid, which is stronger than acetic acid, can lower the pH of silage even more than acetic acid. What you need to know is there are two types of lactic acid bacteria. Homofermentative bacteria produce lactic acid, and heterofermentative bacteria produce lactic acid, acetic acid, carbon dioxide, and ethanol. 

Fermented corn silage makers prefer homofermentative bacteria because it is proven to be more able to preserve silage, work quickly, and save more nutrients from being fed to cattle. Properly preserved corn silage usually has a total acid content, of which 70 percent is lactic acid. The fermentation process in this phase generally takes two weeks. Then, the corn silage will cool to near the ambient temperature. 

Stable Phase

Corn silage pH ranges from 3.8 to 4.2 in the stable phase. At this point, bacteria growth halts, stabilizing the silage. The fermented corn silage quality improves over 4 to 6 months in storage. This improvement results from bacteria and core enzymes continuously acting to dissolve protein.

If you encounter poorly fermented corn silage at this phase, check for ongoing bacterial growth. Fermentation stops before reaching a stable phase if sugar depletes before the silage attains low pH. Such poorly fermented corn silage may offer less nutrition to cows.

Remember, covering your corn silage with high-quality silage film ensures optimal fermentation. Choose Silopak for these films. Since 2011, we’ve produced leading products. Numerous countries have ordered thousands of tons of our silage film to enhance livestock feed productivity.

High Season Alert
High volume of orders in August and September, hope to receive your order in advance