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Silage Science

Silage Science

Release Date: Each January


This module will develop your knowledge of modern forage and grain ensilage systems, giving you the skills to integrate recent research into your work. It will examine: silage evaluation; fermentation; microbiology; inoculant development; pathogen transfer; and food safety. Although its focus will be on pasture-based systems, processes for grain and non-arable crops will be described and evaluated.

The module’s units consist of:

  • Fundamentals of silage production - an overview of the ensiling process and an assessment of the environmental impact of silage production.
  • Silage biochemistry and analysis - a detailed look at the biochemical changes that occur during the ensiling process.
  • Silage microbiology - an overview of the key microbes responsible for ensiling and an examination of contamination by undesirable microbes.
  • Silage additives - evaluation of the different additives and their appropriate use.
  • Silage harvest and storage - the technology of harvesting and an examination of storage and sealing options and on-farm silage analysis.
  • Ensiling grass-based forage - an assessment of grassland management and grazing systems for pastures destined for ensiling.
  • Ensiling maize – maize cultivation and harvest, crimped maize and ensiled maize products, maize breeding and listing.
  • Ensiling alternative forages - the challenges of ensiling legumes, including red clover and whole crop cereals.
  • Future developments in silage - an exploration of ‘the next big things’ in silage science.


Tutors Name
Dr Sarah Watson-Jones


Victoria Pitts [Silage Science]

The silage clamp audit review was excellent as it demonstrated how to assess a silage clamp rather than just reading about it. I will be putting what I learnt into practice on the farm

Downloadable Resources