Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Silage Science
Academic Year
Distance Learning
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Presentation  linking silage production to ruminant nutrition  35%
Semester Assessment Interactive Task  (Minimum 1200 words)  25%
Semester Assessment Report  assessing the environmental impact of farm silage production  40%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Evaluate current and future silage production systems.

2. Review and evaluate scientific literature in relation to silage fermentation and microbiology and apply results to the evaluation of inoculants and other silage production additives.

3. Discuss the various systems used in silage evaluation and be able to use the information to help design optimal diets for ruminant livestock.

4. Assess the potential environmental impacts of silage production and evaluate strategies to reduce the risk to the wider environment.

Brief description

This module develops your knowledge of modern forage and grain ensilage systems, giving you the skills to integrate recent research into your work. It examines: silage evaluation; fermentation; microbiology; inoculant development; pathogen transfer; and food safety. Its focus is primarily on pasture-based systems, but processes for grain and non-arable crops will also be described and evaluated.


This module will comprise 20 hrs of formal input and will cover the following areas:
  • Silage production and ensilage systems
  • Silage evaluation
  • Silage fermentation and microbiology
  • Inoculant development
  • Ensilage and preservation of a alternative feed crops and its potential to affect future livestock feeding practice
  • Pathogen transfer and food safety in silage fed animals
The module will feature a range of lectures, interviews with key researchers and some film material that will teach students about current advances in silage. The fundamental principles of each of topic will be conveyed to the student in a lecture format. In addition, key research publications and interviews with researches will form the basis of a 'case study' demonstrating how research is driving innovation in each area. An assessed 'forum post' associated to each unit of study will ensure students understand the key information presented and can synthesize and present their arguments to other students. Students will also be expected to reply to other student forum posts to encourage further dialogue around each topic. In addition students will be asked to produce a assessed presentation aimed at conveying the information gathered from the module and publications to the wider farming community. This activity will assess both the students understanding of the subject matter, and their ability to communicate difficult concepts. An assessed report will test the students ability to research and build their own 'case study' mirroring and building on the information contained within the module.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will be required to examine and synthesize quantitative data from a range of publications and databases (eg. FAOSTAT) in their assignments.
Communication Students will be expected to be able to express themselves appropriately in their assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Detailed feedback will be given for assignment work.
Information Technology Students will be required to source information from a variety of scientific publication data bases.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving Online forum posts will be used to help develop and improve students problem solving skills.
Research skills Students will be required to undergo directed self study and so will develop their literature research skills.
Subject Specific Skills Research methodology related to silage production and evaluation.
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 7