Size of Chopping
The final size of chopping will be affected not only by the regulation of the machine but by the humidity content of the plant to be ensiled. With modern chopping machines this is easily modified and it does not imply any additional cost.
It is essential that the blades and counter blades be duly sharpened in order to obtain the desired height of cut.
The most modern equipment automatically sharpens the blades, but if this is not the case, it is important to periodically control the material obtained to verify the correct sharpening and, if necessary, request sharpening from the contractor.
The particles to be achieved should be small enough to get correct compaction as well as big enough to provide the animal with effective fibers, thus assuring normal mastication and adequate rumination when consuming the forage.
The ideal proportion is the following: 10% of the particles should be bigger than 2cm, 50% of the particles should be between 1 and 2 cm, and 40% of the particles should be smaller than 1 cm. With these sizes, the producer is likely to get good compaction and the elimination of oxygen.
When the crops are very dry, the tendency is to diminish the size of chopping in order to obtain adequate compaction.