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The importance of silage quality in AD plant efficiency

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ADBA represents the anaerobic digestion (AD) and bioresources industry in the UK. We are co-organisers of The World Biogas Expo and support decarbonisation of the UK’s farming sector by 2040.

Will Wilson

by Will Wilson, Ark Agriculture

Enormous effort goes into growing feedstock for an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant but the attention to detail does not always follow through to the storage.

Storage is a critical area as research shows up to 20% of the crops potential energy can be lost during this period.

When feedstock bills run into hundreds of thousand for a plant these losses can have a huge financial impact.

Critical elements to storing silage as a feedstock that will be covered in ARK’s presentation, online, at The World Biogas Expo at the Future Farming Theatre.

Storage design (clamp options)

  • What to consider about the length height and width of a clamp – the dimensions of a clamp have a significant effect on the feed out rate of silage, a slow feed out rate will affect silage quality.
  • If you have clamps that are not performing what can you do?
  • Other non-clamp storage options.

Filling storage (delivering, spreading, and compacting)

  • How best to fill a silage clamp- filling a silage clamp is all about compaction, achieving the best compaction comes down to timing, machinery choice and operator skill.

    There are some key calculations to help you optimize this.

Covering storage (sheeting)

  • Covering a silage clamp is a time consuming but essential step in good silage making- choosing and understanding sheeting options makes a huge difference to reducing silage clamp waste.

    There are some top tips to reducing the time it takes to cover a silage clamp. Disposing of silage sheets responsibly is also very important and we will talk through our best practice advice.

Emptying storage.

  • Emptying a silage clamp can be a dangerous process and for silage quality it is as important as filling the clamp – attention to detail makes all the difference here with a review of new machinery on the market to manage the emptying process and evolving techniques to make uncovering the clamps safer.


Will Wilson from silage storage specialists ARK Agriculture will be talking through the key aspects of silage storage that affect silage quality on AD plants at the Future Farming Theatre of the World Biogas Expo, FREE TO ATTEND, register here.

The World Biogas Expo, formally the UK AD Expo organised by ADBA is the meeting place for the UK AD industry.