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Anyone creating grass silage stacks? I searched the forums, not too many posts. A couple mentioned that it's not done so much because of the time it takes. I would think that once around a field would be much better than at least 3 while making bales, even with covering and sealing. And, with the price of fuel, I'd think this would become more popular.
So, back to the original question, anyone have good or bad experience with this? Would I need to by one of the special 'lacerator' machines, or would a forage chopper work? Do you vacuum seal the pile? What do you use to seal the edges? Will a front end loader work to feed it out, assuming I'm not feeding directly from the pile, or would I need one of those silage 'forks?' (not sure what they're called).
 

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I've not done it, but I've seen it done. Remember that round bale silage is just cut with a normal haybine/mower so that transport is not such a problem, but that if you are going to put it into a pile you'll need a silage wagon to move it out of the field and a chopper to go on the front to pick it up. That's twice around the field, not once, because it has to dry down a few hours before you pick it up for haylage. Corn silage is different because it's already partially dried down when it's harvested.

The main problem with these piles is you have to have a lot of it to make the pile ensile well without a lot of waste. So unless you are putting it up for a good sized herd, you're going to have a small pile with more outside edges expoused to the air with a smaller center area that is actually fed out in the winter. You want a pile that is large enough so that the inside has a lot of volume. If you don't do this, then round bale silage (wrapped or bagged) might be a better choice for you.

Then once you get it to the pile and off load it, you have to compress it with something. Most people run over it with the tractor or another heavy vehicle. More fuel used here, and more time.

Yes, you can do it, but unless you are in a really wet area where you can't get the hay made, then I'd try wrapped round bales before I did this. OR, you could have someone come in with a bagger and do your field that way. Sometimes big outfits that bought the equipment for their own herds will do other folks' hay to help pay for the equipment, bale wrapper or bagger either one.

Jennifer
 

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Direct cut silage with a crop chopper is mostly just useful if you're feeding it fresh as you chop. Most of the time the hay is too wet to chop it directly and store it, it'll just turn rancid instead of fermenting properly. That's why most haylage or balage is cut then left to dry until it's dry enough to chop or bale for balage.
 

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Grass silage works. We put up a 14x40 full one year. The stuff smells awful but the cows ate it and milked well.
The stuff seeps like mad and the seepage will put a stink in the ground that stays for years. After a good rain 5 years after we tried grass silage you could still smell it.
We used an old Ford chopper that allowed direct cutting. Most forage choppers don't have that anymore. Not sure if a flail chopper would work for ensiling because they don't chop as fine and you'll end up with more chance for air in the silage.
So "once around the field" is more likely 2 or 3 times anyway. With a better chance of losing more to spoilage.
 

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OMC made a high density stacker it chopped and pressed them into big piles. THe had a stack mover like a huge fork lift forks to pick them up. Not good sellers, a dealer here had one new sat around for 25 years, Dad and I talked to them about it just something to play with feed the heifers maybe in the summer but the said they wouldn't take less than $5000 for it. It had no paint left on it sat outside and didn't move for 25 years so we laughed in his face and got in the truck. We put up grass silage for ever, and if it juiced and smelled bad it was WAY to wet. Haylage should never juice, don't use a flail chopper either,dosn't chop fine enough. Ask my uncle and his pitch fork how well it cones out of a silo. Before switching to total balage in 2002 we put up a 24x70 and two 14x40's with grass silage.
 

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Hesston made one of those stackers as well. We used one mainly for corn and bean stubble for bedding.
You could get a trailer with a chain mechanism that would load and unload the stack. A pretty neat idea that never took off.
 
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