Feedbeet Storage

In order to maintain the high feed value of the beets, there are a few things to keep in mind during storage. Depending on the conditions and the feeding concept on the farm, each farmer can choose the way of storage that suits them best.

The practical implications related to fresh beet storage has, through the last years, led to an increased interest of ensiling beet together with other feedstuff.

The most important aspects are the identification of the appropriate mixing partner(s) and the preservation over the winter months to reduce the effluent.

Storing fresh Beet​

Storing fresh beet requires attention and care. A good fresh beet storage begins with a careful beet harvest. It is important not to injure the root surface prior to storage as it may lead to higher respiration and risk of infection in the storage pile. The storability of beet is, to some extend, connected to the beet type (e.g. dry matter content and surface stability). ​

An alternative to fresh beet storage is ensiling of beet.

Good to know about Storing fresh Beet​

Ensiling of Beet

In order to feed beets throughout the year, at least a certain proportion of beet should be ensiled. Common practice is the joint ensiling of crushed beets with another feedstuff. A mix silages is then able to capture the value of beet effluent.

Beets contain 75-80% water. To avoid leaching effluent by chopped beets, they should be combined with other forages such as ensiled grass, hay, alfalfa hay, dried beet pellets or similar mixing partners available in your region.

There are several ways to produce mixed silage while ensuring the highest possible yield and feed value by choosing the perfect individual harvest date. In practice, 2 methods have proven to be particularly efficient.

Ensiling on Top of an existing Silage - the "Brownie Style"

Each crop is harvested and ensiled at its best possible harvest time. The cleaned and freshly chopped beets are then placed on top of the existing silage. Further compaction of the beets is not necessary if a chopping bucket is used that produces different-sized pieces of beet: small crumbs fill the space between larger pieces. The existing silage remains untouched and does not need to be worked. The effluent is then absorbed by the mixing partner and there are no losses due to re-ensiling.

Ensiling in Layers - the "Lasagna Style"

Each crop is harvested and ensiled at its best possible harvesting time. Finally, when the beets are also harvested in the fall, they are cleaned, chopped and stored in the clamp in several layers alternating with the mixing partner. Effluent from beets will be absorbed by the mixing partner.

Compared to the previous method, the high effort involved to take out the mixing partner from the original silo in order to re-ensile in layers afterwards, is high. In addition, losses due to re-ensiling cannot be avoided completely. This is mainly the reason why ensiling beet on top is recommanded.

Good to know about mixed Silage

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Lars Andersen
Lars Andersen
Product Manager
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