Definition of silage in US English:



  • Grass or other green fodder compacted and stored in airtight conditions, typically in a silo, without first being dried, and used as animal feed in the winter.

    • ‘Calcium and phosphorous levels in maize silage are also low relative to grass silage.’
    • ‘In the longer term, there is no feed to be made into hay or silage for winter feed for that stock.’
    • ‘Corn harvested for silage yields one-third more feed nutrients per acre than corn harvested for grain.’
    • ‘The milk is produced from a diet of 90% grazed grass and grass silage.’
    • ‘Spring grass is cheaper and a much better feed than silage.’
    • ‘Corn silage is best when conditions are good, but a combination of corn and forage sorghum isn't far behind.’
    • ‘Forage sorghum produces silage containing more digestible energy than legume and cool-season grass silage.’
    • ‘The Westcombe cheddar, for example, had a better flavour in winter from cows fed on silage and maize than the summer stock made from grass-fed milk, so the producer has supplemented the summer feed.’
    • ‘Forage crops provide fiber, energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals to cows and may also be harvested as hay or silage for later feeding.’
    • ‘Grass silage and root crops such as turnips, kale and potatoes are often fed during the dry period.’
    • ‘When the attraction closes for the winter, the maize will be harvested for silage to feed Tom's Jersey cows, whose milk is used to produce the ice cream which is sold at the site.’
    • ‘Now farmers cut grass for silage, two or three cuts a year with the first cut in mid-May.’
    • ‘These cows eat grass all summer, turnips and silage in the winter when they're tucked up in the shed.’
    • ‘They have made it clear ‘crops’ include grass as it can be grown for silage to feed livestock.’
    • ‘The average crude protein percentage of grass silage analysed this winter is 10.5.’
    • ‘Autumn calvers need high quality silage fed to appetite, right through the Winter.’
    • ‘In the first three studies, cows produced somewhat less milk when fed red clover silage because they ate less of it and ingested almost 20 percent less protein.’
    • ‘When pasture was not available, hay or silage harvested during periods of excess pasture growth was fed to meet forage requirements.’
    • ‘Most of the corn was harvested and stored as silage, with the remainder custom harvested as dry grain.’
    • ‘The Romans had introduced dry vegetable fermentation with their development of silage as cattle feed, but the process was not extended beyond this for many centuries.’
    fodder, food, foodstuff, forage, pasturage, herbage
    View synonyms


[no object]often as noun silaging
  • 1Make silage.

    ‘they do 1500 acres of contract silaging each year’
    • ‘Grass which is to be used for silaging must be harvested at the optimum growth stage for making the best quality and quantity of silage.’
    • ‘As well, dust generated by gravel roads during silaging or combining or from cattle movement in the feedlot can generate a haze and that is not pleasant for workers, animals, or neighbors.’
    • ‘Summer brings its own seasonal tasks such as sheep shearing, silaging and of course, the show season, and farmers work later to take advantage of the long days.’
    1. 1.1with object Preserve (grass and other green fodder) as silage.
      • ‘When silaged the fall rye was fairly mature and dry, it was put into the bottom of the silage pit so it would mix with the other silage crops.’
      • ‘Greenfeed insurance covers specific annual crops grown for the purpose of being cut, baled or silaged for livestock feed.’
      • ‘The Aquilla area is scheduled to begin silaging corn the later part of this week.’


Late 19th century: alteration of ensilage, influenced by silo.