Claas MCC Shredlage processor improves feed quality

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The Claas MCC Shredlage processor incorporates two specially designed Loren Cut rollers, as part of a process that improves the digestibility of livestock feed. The Claas MCC Shredlage processor incorporates two specially designed Loren Cut rollers, as part of a process that improves the digestibility of livestock feed. The Claas MCC Shredlage processor incorporates two specially designed Loren Cut rollers, as part of a process that improves the digestibility of livestock feed.

A new maize silage processing technique that uses rollers to break down the feed can significantly improve digestibility and livestock performance, according to its creators.


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The Claas MCC Shredlage processor was developed over the past decade by two American dairy nutritionists, Roger Olsen and Ross Dale, who recognised the need to develop a more efficient silage process suitable for high-ratio forage diets.

The technology is now marketed globally by Claas for use in its range of Jaguar forage harvesters.

The new system is aimed at dairy farmers who are feeding corn silage in total and partial mixed rations, and can reduce the amount of straw, hay or other fibres that has to be provided in balancing the diet.

The Claas Shredlage processor incorporates two specially-designed Loren Cut rollers, which feature 110 and 145 teeth in opposing spiral grooves that are set on a 50 percent speed differential.

The rollers break the kernels to about one quarter or one eighth of their normal size, and rip the long chop stalks into planks and strings, removing rind from the larger parts of the stem.

The process improves the digestibility of starch and fibre within the feed and, according to Claas, can lead to higher levels of milk production in dairy cows.

Claas Greenline Group product manager Luke Wheeler says Shredlage allows contractors to meet rising demand for longer chop lengths, without compromising silage quality.

"The challenge facing all dairy farmers is how to increase milk production efficiency," Wheeler says.

"Shredlage has already been widely adopted in the USA and Europe and we have no doubt it will become popular locally, as producers focus on more intensive feeding systems."

Lallemand Animal Nutrition, a leading provider of silage management services, inoculants and sealing systems in Australia, has played a key role in its local adoption.

The company’s technical services manager for forage David Lewis says Shredlage is a significant advancement in kernel processing of corn silages.

"The beneficial effects of long chop silage on rumen function and health are well known," Lewis says.

"The flip side is that until now, it’s been difficult to achieve the level of compaction and consistency required for optimal fermentation when trying to chop corn silage at these longer lengths.

"This means silage can be a trade-off between what the nutritionist and dairy producer would like and what the silage contractor can actually produce according to the field and crop conditions."

Lewis says Shredlage is produced the same way as short and long cut silage.

"A bit more attention is required to achieve the desired stack densities, such as being prepared to run a second pack tractor when needed, but other than that, it’s similar to making any other silage," he says.

"The physical make-up and consistency of total and partial mixed rations are very important in terms of their effect on animal health and production."

The Claas MCC Shredlage processor complements the existing Claas MCC max, large and medium crackers, which are used to process shorter chop lengths from four to 22mm.

The modular design of the four models means processor units can be changed quickly, allowing operators a high degree of flexibility.

CLAAS Harvest Centre is the Australasian distributor of Claas, Amazone, Balzer, Seed Hawk and other leading farm machinery brands.

 

Shredlage at a glance

  • 26–30 mm length of cut
  • 63–68 percent moisture content
  • No whole corn kernels
  • Kernel starch development greater than 1/2 milk line
  • Fermented Kernel Processing Score of 70

 

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