Round bales or silo?


A study recently made by the Swedish University Of Agricultural Sciences(SLU) confirms there are big differences in quality based on how THE

FORAGE is stored.


The study was made in 12 different farms using 12 bunker silos, 6 bag silos, 3 tower silos and 2x60 round bales. Samples were taken three days a week, and a total of 650 samples were taken when harvesting, and 300 samples when feeding.


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The biggest discovery was the invisible losses due to the fermentation process. The average loss for bunker silo was 14,1%, bag silo 11,5% and tower silo 23,4%. The interesting point was that round bales had loss of only 1%. The low losses in bales is probably based on denser packed forage and less time of opening before feed.

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Bunker silo

Let us show you some numbers from the study:

  • Energy loss average
    1. Bunker silo: 13,3%
    2. Bag silo: 9,7%
    3. Tower silo: 23,3%
    4. Round bales: 0,6%
  • Protein loss average
    1. Bunker silo: 11,9%
    2. Bag silo: 10,4%
    3. Tower silo: 23,2%
    4. Round bales: 1,4%
  • Dry matter loss
    1. Bunker silo: 14,1%
    2. Bag silo: 11,5%
    3. Tower silo: 23,4%
    4. Round bales: 1,1%



This means that the forage in bunker, bag and tower silos lose a lot of energy and protein during storage, while round bales do not. The less energy and protein in the forage, the more forage your animals will need in order to maintain a high production. If you produce forage in round bales, the animals will get more energy out of less forage! The study is written in swedish, you can download the study here.


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