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Concept of adding ground truth data for economic evaluation of silage quality in Germany

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2022 ASABE Annual International Meeting  2200285.(doi:10.13031/aim.202200285)
Authors:   Josef Johannes Bauerdick, Hubert Spiekers, Claudia Bodensteiner, Theresa Theunissen, Heinz Bernhardt
Keywords:   Feed management, Sensor system, Silage, LoRaWAN, Silage controlling;

Abstract. Silage production and preservation is of great importance in Europe and the USA to feed ruminants and biogas plants. Feed costs are responsible for about 50 % of the total costs of milk production in Germany. To optimize the costs of milk or biogas production, losses of silage mass and quality must therefore be as low as possible. In order to calculate the costs of the fodder production, several calculation schemes in Germany exist, mainly conceived by official institutions which use specific assumptions, for example, for growth rates, silage qualities and silage losses. However, within the schemes only reference values are given and up to date a farmer is not able to specify the amounts of losses in his silage production system for silage controlling. The present paper shows examples of calculation schemes for silage production costs in Germany and emphasizes their strengths and weaknesses regarding agronomic values. At the Technical University of Munich, a wireless sensor monitoring system for silage stacks, based on LoRaWAN communication, was developed with the aim to record changes in the silage environment and enable the farmer to prevent losses for example due to air breaches. The results of the paper show, how the developed sensor node is capable of empowering future economic evaluation schemes to improve their agronomic significance due to gathered ground truth data. In addition, possibilities of further optimizations of the on-farm silage production due to data analysis and controlling are shown.

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