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In many parts of North America and Europe the moisture content of silage often exceeds 65%. Under those circumstances the silage in the lower part of the silo is likely to become saturated. None of the available saturation criteria is sufficiently comprehensive to predict accurately saturation in plant materials commonly ensiled in Ontario. This became evident from 21 isotropic consolidation tests of silages using a modified triaxial testing apparatus. A silage model consisting of masses and springs, that includes microvoids (plant cells) and macrovoids helped to formulate a hypothesis that indicates that dry matter density is a good predictor of saturation. The results of the 21 tests (10 alfalfa silage and 11 whole-plant com silage) were combined with those of 42 tests of grass silage from Sweden to propose a new saturation criterion. It is based on dry matter density and includes the effect of the moisture content, M%. The criterion predicts saturation when the dry matter density exceeds the value (961 - 9.92M)kg/m3.
a saturation criterion for ensiled plant materials
Tang, J., Jofriet, J.C. and B. LeLievre 1988. A SATURATION CRITERION FOR ENSILED PLANT MATERIALS. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 30(1):93-98.
93 - 98