Horses and cows are herbivores, happy ones if they get to graze for at minimum 10 hours a day. In most cases, their system is adjusted towards eating plant fiber or sources of forage, including pasture if readily available, or just in a preserved form primarily categorized as hay, silage or haylage. For every farmer owning cattle, mainly cows or horses, the beginning of fall climate can flag the beginning of the quest for storable forage before winter sets in. Factors under consideration, including forage type, storage-capacity on farms, palatability, nutritional content, and its cost, all become significant. In summer, this can without much of a stretch be given fresh forages for food. However, the unavailability of enough pasture during the winter season can make farmers face a serious challenge of providing their livestock, an adequate amount of food. Silage and haymaking are commonly prepared for tackling the food supply problem when pasture isn’t optimal. Processing fibrous plants into a form that can initially be preserved and stored afterward in available warehouses for later use
Silage and Hay
In agribusiness, hay is mainly dried grasses and other foliage utilized as livestock feed. Mostly, the crop is cut in the field while it’s fresh and green and afterward, either it is dried in the field or dried using mechanical aid by forced hot air. The protein substance of grasses and vegetables is diminished during the preparation. If you want good quality hay, the harvesting is to be done at an appropriate stage, handled with care to preserve leaves, and relieved to forestall deterioration or staining. It’s generally dried in little heaps or stacks in the field or barn (safe from rain). Professionally prepared hay having less than 20% moisture can be stored for long without getting spoiled.
Silage – Introduction
A type of preserved forage that contains grass compacted and put away in airtight silos without being dried, it can be made out of green plants. The shriveled or fresh grass is stuffed, shaping an anaerobic domain. The process permits the sugars of grass to be fermented using microbial activity. Now, the forage can be stored. It mostly takes around 21 days to be finished. Bales are packed in plastic, making it air resistant. Silage’s moisture content should lie between 40-60% else; it might develop molds or face nutrient loss.
NOTE: If the Silage has moisture content lying between 12-40%, resulting silage is known as haylage.
Hay vs. Silage – Contrasting Characteristics
Hay and silage are both famous ways for farmers to provide food for their livestock when they don’t have anything to graze upon. Mostly, the grass is the raw material for preparing both and both these methods are characterized for forage preservation. Regardless of These similarities, the two surely differ in a few ways mentioned below.
- Moisture level – Hay has a maximum of 20% moisture content, while silage is 40-60% moisturized.
- Method of Preparation – For haymaking, the grass is cut and simply dried in the field while, in the case of silage, the grass is first cut and then compactly packed for fermentation.
- Storage Method – Hay is generally mowed, dried out, baled and then stored (in forms of bales), whereas silage is just compressed and stored fresh in silos (no drying).
- Digestive Abilities – Animals cannot digest grass in the form of hay; meanwhile, silage being a nutritional source gets digested easily, it’s healthier.
- Preservations – Dried Hay doesn’t require preservation, but silage has to be wrapped airtight in plastic sheets before putting it for storage.
Why Silage and not Hay?
Comparatively, hay is more acceptable, both nutritionally and financially, than silage because of the high sugar content and less protein breakdown. The problematic part is its dependence on having 5 or 6 days of desired weather, something which can’t typically be ensured in most parts of the world. Silage is produced using edibles that offer better digestion and aren’t so dependent on the weather condition. Methods of silage making have improved enormously throughout the most recent couple of years, allowing the production of high-quality silage routinely. All things considered, silage production just involves the use of grass, eliminating the need for synthetic feeds commercially available and making the process commercially viable.
Silage in Pakistan
Pakistan’s Livestock Industry has to confront two major spans of extreme grain shortage every year, which affects animal production on a huge level. Storing down surplus forage as silage and utilizing it during times of deficiency can help stay away from these issues. Silage technology was brought into Pakistan just about two decades back by different governments and worldwide agencies. Described below are the major causes why Silage production isn’t much of a success in Pakistan.
- Some significant constraints that are faced by the farmers in Pakistan producing Silage Are High cost of production, unavailability of sufficient land and limited animal units.
- Rare availability of Silage machines and its expensive cost also impacts Silage production.
- The process plus production rate isn’t economically viable because of animal count not being high enough.
- In order to make it financially feasible, large scale silage production is generally preferred.
- Feedback for the work is mandatory, no matter how extensive your project might be.
Specific measures and their consequences
So as to help the drying procedure, it is rather better to collect a stem-my, low yield crop, while the latter normally accomplished by using little amounts of fertilizer. Since the harvested crop already is low on a nutritional level. Additional losses induced in feed worth will be brought about during field drying, poor weather conditions, and this can yield you a product, there is no consistency among the product.