Silage is a type of commodity in Farming Simulator 15. It is the most valuable commodity by default. Silage can be produced from Grass, Chaff, or Hay, and requires a different process depending on which material is chosen. The end product can be sold for considerable profit at the Biogas Plant, fed directly to Cows, or mixed with other materials to make Total Mixed Ration.
Silage is rich, shredded plant matter that has been fermented in anaerobic conditions (that is, without contact with air). The resulting substance is exceptionally rich in a variety of acids, which are useful both for cow feed and for creation of biogas.
Silage is created by tightly packing the source material - Grass, Chaff or Hay - in impermeable plastic. This prevents the air from interacting with the material.
In game, this can be achieved in two different ways, depending on which source material is used:
- Chaff and Grass are piled in massive bulks, over 100,000 liters in volume, within a concrete bunker at the Biogas Plant or the Cow Pasture. They are then compacted by driving heavy vehicles over them, and finally covered with a plastic blanket. Several game-hours later, the bunker is uncovered and is now full of Silage.
- Round Bales of Hay can be wrapped individually in plastic strips, using a specialized machine. This turns the entire bale into Silage in less than a minute, but only processes one bale (4,000 liters) at a time.
The produced Silage can be sold directly at the Biogas Plant, by dumping it into a special receptacle. It fetches a very high price - higher than any other commodity in the game.
Alternatively, Silage can be fed directly to Cows, increasing their productivity by a certain amount, and beginning production of Slurry. The effects of feeding Cows with Silage are cumulative with feeding them with Grass.
Finally, Silage can be used as one of two primary ingredients in the production of Total Mixed Ration - the most effective type of cow feed. This is the only way to raise Cow productivity to 100%.
Production in Silage Bunkers Edit
The primary method of producing Silage in bulk is by fermenting Grass and/or Chaff in a fermentation bunker . In both Bjornholm and Westbridge Hills, there are 5 such bunkers: 4 large ones at the Biogas Plant, and a smaller one at the Cow Pasture.
To start the process, locate a bunker that does not currently contain any Silage, is not currently covered with a plastic blanket, and is not already full to capacity. Drive a Tipper or Loading Wagon containing either Grass or Chaff into the bunker, and unload. You may use either of these source materials in the same bunker - the game does not differentiate between them.
The source material must be compacted to 100% for Silage production to be enabled. This required driving a vehicle - any vehicle - over the source material. You may drive either backwards or forwards over the material. The current compact percentage is displayed in the hotkey help menu in the top-left corner of the screen. You may continue adding source material even after compacting, but this will require you to compact the material some more, to reach 100% again.
Once the amount of source material in the bunker has reached a certain minimum percentage, and has been compacted to 100%, the option to blanket the silo will appear in the hotkey help menu. Activating this ability will instantly cover the entire bunker with a white sheet of plastic. The source material may no longer be interacted with after this point; you may not add more material to it.
The fermentation process takes exactly 12 hours of game time, and requires no further work. At the end of the process, the bunker will be automatically uncovered, and a large layer of brown-colored Loose Silage will appear underneath.
Production from Hay Bales Edit
Round Hay Bales (and only Round ones!) can be individually wrapped in plastic in order to be turned into Silage instantaneously. This is performed using a Bale Wrapper. There is only one such device available in the base game, the Ursus Z-586 .
To perform this process, first extend the collecting arm of the Z-586, and drive it up to a Round Hay Bale. The device will automatically pick up the bale, and place it on its platform. It will then begin to rotate the bale, while wrapping it with a thin plastic sheet - turning it white. The bale can then be dropped out of the Z-586 on command. You may drive the Z-586 anywhere before unloading it.
Note: As repeatedly stated above, the Z-586 will only process Round Hay Bales. It will refuse to pick up Square Hay Bales, as well as any Straw bales. There is no device in the base game that can process such bales into Silage.
The resulting bale, white in color, can be used in the same way as Loose Silage, whether sold directly or fed to Cows. Note however that for some reason, the amount of Silage in a single bale is different depending on how it is used: It contains 6,432 liters when sold directly, or just 4,000 liters when fed to Cows.
Selling Silage Edit
Silage can be sold for a substantial profit at the Biogas Plant. It is the single most valuable substance in the game when sold this way.
To sell Silage, it must be dumped into the Fliegl receptacles next to the dome-shaped structures at the Biogas Plant. Both receptacles are treated as the same selling point, so it doesn't matter which one is used.
When selling Baled Silage, you will need a Front Loader or similar device, equipped with a Bale Handler (a Pallet Fork or other device may also work, but may be more difficult to use). It must pick up the Silage Bale, and drop it into the receptacle. A single bale equals 6,432 liters of Silage. Alternatively, the Ursus T-127 can be backed up "into" the receptacle and the bales unloaded directly without requiring any further handling.
Selling Loose Silage from a fermentation bunker requires a Front Loader with a Universal Bucket, or a similar apparatus that can collect this kind of Silage. The device must be driven into the Silage in the bunker, then driven over to the receptacle, where it must be accurately dumped. The largest available bucket in the base game is the Lizard Wheel Loader Shovel, which can carry up to 6,400 liters of Silage. Note: It is possible to dump Silage anywhere outside the receptacle, in which case that silage will be lost!
Silage is sold for over $1600 per ton, making it the most lucrative commodity in the game.
Receptacle Capacity Edit
Unlike other selling points in the game, the Fliegl receptacles a the Biogas Plant can only hold a limited amount of Silage at any given time - 20,000 liters to be exact. An electronic sign next to the receptacles displays the amount currently in the tanks. If the tanks are empty, the sign will be blank.
The amount of Silage in the receptacles increases correspondingly to the amount of Silage you dump into it (i.e., dumping 4,000 liters of Silage into either receptacle will increase the amount in the tanks by exactly 4,000 liters). Once the tank reaches 20,000 liters, no more Loose Silage can be dumped into either receptacle (read below for information on dumping whole bales).
As long as there is any Silage in the tank, it decreases by exactly 26.5 per second. Therefore, it takes a full tank exactly 755 seconds to empty itself completely. However, you do not need to wait for the tank to fully empty before adding more Silage. If your Front Loader has filled the tank to capacity, but still has Silage left in its shovel, you can simply leave that Front Loader in the unloading position - it will keep dumping 26.5 liters of Silage into the tank every second until the shovel is emptied.
With Silage Bales, the capacity restriction is not relevant - you can dump a Silage Bale into the receptacle regardless of how much space it has left, and be paid for the entire bale even if there was nominally no room for it. If the amount of Silage in the receptacle exceeds 20,000 liters after the bale has been dumped into it, it'll immediately drop to 20,000 liters, and then continue to drop normally, as described above.
Feeding Cows Edit
One of the two primary uses for Silage is to feed it to your Cows. This can be done in different ways, depending on whether you wish to use Loose Silage or Baled Silage.
One method is to pick up Silage with a Front Loader equipped with a Universal Bucket or other similar device, and then dump the Silage into the feeding trough at the Cow Pasture. Note that there is no indicator for the exact location for dumping - you will need to be quite precise to make sure the Silage falls straight into the trough. If you dump outside the trough, the Silage will be lost entirely.
Another method is to use a Mixer Wagon. This device can be loaded in two different ways: It can suck Silage straight out of a fermentation bunker, or alternatively it can be loaded with Silage Bales, each of which adds 4,000 liters of Silage to the Mixer Wagon. Regardless of which method you used to load it, the Mixer Wagon can then be driven up next to the feeding trough, at which point you will be able to unload it into the trough.
Feeding Cows on Silage is not optimal, but will at least get them started on producing Slurry - a valuable type of Fertilizer. Additionally, Silage feeding will raise Cow productivity to at least 35% (or more, if you also provide them with Grass and/or Straw Bedding). Both the increased productivity and Slurry production will continue as long as there is any food in the Cow trough, whether it's Silage or otherwise. Note that the game will track the amount of Silage you've unloaded into the trough separately from other types of feed.
Cows will gradually consume the Silage in their troughs. The more animals are in the pasture, the faster they will consume their feed. The rate is around 113 liters of per Cow, per day. Cows will stop consuming Silage if they are provided with TMR and will only resume consuming Silage if the TMR ever runs out.
Total Mixed Ration Edit
- Main article: Total Mixed Ration (Farming Simulator 15)
Silage is one of the two primary components of Total Mixed Ration, the other being Hay. A properly-mixed ration can be fed to Cows in order to boost their productivity to either 90% or 100% (depending on whether Straw Bedding is also provided).
To make TMR, Hay and Silage must be mixed together in a Mixer Wagon. As long as there is at least 25% of each of these materials in the wagon, and no more than 75% of either of them, the mixture is considered proper TMR, and can be fed to cows by driving the Mixer Wagon up to the feeding troughs and unloading it.
Producing Silage Edit
You might be thinking about how hard silage is to make right about now- 'they make it sound so easy, it's actually almost impossible', etc. Well. It's not, I can tell you that. To start, take out a $150,000 loan from the bank, and sell all of your spare tractors at the shop for about $250,000 starting capital. Then use this list: Shopping List 1x Forage Wagon 1x Front Mounted Mower 1x New Holland T6 and Front Loader, Silage Fork/Bucket Now, drive your setup to a nice strip of grass close to the biogas plant, and mow away! Fill the trailer, then dump it into a silo. Compact and ferment it after filling it with a bunch more loads, then settle back for a fifteen minute break. Get yourself some coffee or water, then come back. Now it's time for the front loader's bucket to come into use. Load it with silage, drive it over to the drop off and watch the money counter go up! Now, repeat that process until you can afford to pay off your loans, purchase tractors again and start your farm properly!
For advanced silage production: Shopping List 1x KRONE Big X and Corn Header 1x Tipper for KRONE 1x HORSCH planter (corn) 1x 12FT CULTIVATOR 1x WEIDMANN WHEEL LOADER 1x WEIDMANN BUCKET
Now, all you need to do is plant a field of corn, harvest it (as chaff), and ferment it. Happy profits!