Silage is the term used for the product formed when any green plant material is cut and stored where it can ferment in the absence of air. During this process of fermentation, the silage develops acids which act preservatives for the nutrients of the
Crops suitable for silage: There are as many kinds of silage as there are crops and crop mixtures. Common crops used for silage making are maize, sorghum, bajra, mixture of grasses and legumes. When properly made, grass silage is not only palatable and highly nutritious but it has also an agreeable smell and high carotene (Vitamin A precursor) content. The loss of nutrients is very much less than when crops are cured as dry hay.
The principle in making silage is to keep the green fodder material tightly packed in impervious containers, excluding air as much as possible. The crop should be harvested at the right stage of growth, viz. between the flowering and milk stage. The important conditions for getting quality silage are (I) storing the plant material at moisture content of 65 to 75% (ii) excluding air and (iii) encouraging a rise of temperature from 30 to 38 O C.