Gathering cut hay ready for the silage pit and will be used as Winter feed for the cattle herd near Inverness, in the Scottish Highlands UK.

- Image ID: PTYHGY
David Gowans / Alamy Stock Photo
The part of farm-grown forage in the dairy ration is increasing, as it is seen as a good way to remain profitable. At the same time, quality must be watched, as fresh forage contains between one million and one billion microorganisms per gramme of dry matter (DM), good (acidifying bacteria such as lactic acid bacteria) or bad (clostridia etc.). The ensiling process is thus a real battlefield between these micro-soldiers, the result of which is critical for forage quality. In this article we take a look at each phase of the ensiling process, their impact on final forage quality and how to keep this under control in practice.
Location: Dalcross Airpark, Inverness, UK