Silage is fermented, high-moisture (50%-60%) animal feed that can be fed to ruminants like cattle and sheep. Silage is usually made from corn, grass, alfalfa, sorghum, and other cereals, using the entire green plant (not just the grain). Silage is primarily used as a method for preserving high moisture livestock feeds for year round consumption by the animals.
Silage is made by harvesting and chopping green vegetation into small pieces (~0.5 inches) and storing it in an air tight structure such as a silo, large pile covered with plastic sheet, large 100’ bags, or by wrapping large bales in plastic film. By storing in a sealed “container” the feed is preserved through a natural “pickling” process.
Silage is especially important for western Washington Beef and Dairy farmers because of our short growing season.
Silage Fermentation and Preservation by J.W. Schroeder, NDSU Extension Dairy Specialist