What is silage?

Silage is a kind of feed made from green plant crops that have been oxidised to the point of preservation by fermentation. Cattle, sheep, and other ruminants can be fed it (cud-chewing animals).

Ensilage, ensiling, or silaging are terms used to describe the fermentation and storing process. Silage is typically produced utilising the entire green plant from grass crops, such as maize, sorghum, or other cereals (not just the grain).

Many field crops can be used to make silage, and depending on the type, different terminology may be used: haylage for alfalfa and oatlage for oats (haylage may also refer to high dry matter silage made from hay).

Maize silage

It is the most common cereal crop preserved as silage today. Despite being primarily a tropical plant, breeders have created varieties that mature sooner, making it possible for northern regions to effectively grow maize.

Both the fibre and energy density in corn silage are of the highest quality. In terms of yield and energy value, it is among the most affordable forages that farmers can grow. One of the simpler forages to ensile is this one. Corn should be harvested at the proper maturity and dry matter (DM) level to maximise forage quality. Additionally, the production and quality of the resulting silage depend on the choice of cutting height, chop length, and kernel processing.


Nutritional value

Baled silage is a high-quality feed that is rich in energy, protein, and fiber, making it an important source of nutrition for livestock.


Baled silage is compact and easy to store, which makes it ideal for farmers who want to ensure a steady supply of feed throughout the year, especially during periods when fresh pasture is scarce.

Reduced waste

Baled silage reduces the amount of waste that is generated compared to other forms of feed, such as hay, which can be easily damaged by rain and exposed to air, leading to spoilage.


Baled silage is an economical feed option, especially when compared to the cost of buying grain or other supplemental feeds.

Improved herd health

Baled silage provides a consistent, high-quality feed source, which helps to maintain the health and wellbeing of livestock and reduce the risk of disease and other health problems.

Environmentally friendly

The production of baled silage generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to other forms of feed production, which makes it a more environmentally friendly option.


In agriculture, Napier grass is commonly used as livestock feed, either fresh or preserved as silage or hay. It is also used as a raw material for the production of biofuels, such as ethanol, as well as for paper and particleboard production.

In addition to its practical uses, Napier grass is also prized for its ornamental value and is used in landscaping and garden design, often as a decorative hedge or screen.