Determination of silage density in bunker silos using a radiometric method
Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam Bornim, Max-Eyth Allee 100, 14469 Potsdam, Germany, *Correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wilted grass and chopped maize have to be compressed in bunker silos in order to achieve storability for high quality silage. High losses can occur if the compaction is too low. The aim of the project was to develop a measuring device to determine the density of the ensiled material during the compaction drives. The measuring method is based on the radiometric density determination by backscattered gamma-photons. Cesium Cs-137 is used as photon source. The cesium source and the detector were located in a measuring wheel, which is trailed by the compaction vehicle over the silo. In conjunction with data from a Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS), the density values can be related to certain positions in the silo. An assessment of the costs and benefits showed that the radiometric measurement method is cost-effective if the number of dairy cows exceeds 135 cows. Key word: Silage, compression, radiometry, bunker silo, costs, benefits.