In the dictionary, one of the definitions of the word cincho is “mold used to press cheese.” But, in northern Minas Gerais, the moth was a source of food for livestock during the long annual droughts. With the driest time of the year approaching in the state, the technology for storing forage in small greens and pressed cakes is to ensure the animals’ survival and income for small producers exploring dairy farming.
In the municipality of Brasilia de Minas, about 100 kilometers from Montes Claros, a team from the Technical Assistance and Rural Extension Company of Minas Gerais (Emater-MG) has extensively deployed the silo-implantation technology in family farming.
The initiative began in 2015, in a community called Raiz, with the experimental construction of a silo of this type, which does not require the use of a tractor to compact plant material and store smaller quantities of forage. “In recent years, we have already held several events to introduce the advantages of the silo and the aggregation process. This practice has already become popular here in the municipality and in the neighbours, which shows satisfaction with the process,” says agricultural extension worker Manuel Milton de Sousa, of Emater-MG .
He explains that Sencho silo is ideal for family farming, because the properties generally contain few animals as well as little forage material that can be turned into fodder. In addition, by eliminating the use of machinery for pressing, which is done by trampling the feed, the process is much cheaper. Manuel Melton tells how he learned about the technology: “In a conversation with a trader in the local agricultural sector, he told me about a silo model, which he called the Polo Silos. The conversation piqued my interest and I went to do more research on the topic. Old, of Italian origin, I used Emater -MG this practice is already in place, mainly in the Jequitinhonha Valley region, which is also facing long periods of drought.”
Initially, a 14mm steel plate was used to form the silo. But country producer Carlos Roberto, also from Brasília de Minas, had the idea of using zinc sheet, which is much cheaper and lighter, which can even be rolled up when not in use. Since it is much thinner than steel plate, adjustments were necessary with iron bars on the top and bottom edges to give the shape more rigidity. “This new arrangement meets all the requirements of the original model, but is more affordable and easier to transport,” praises Manoel Milton.
In addition to the metal plate (generally 50 cm high and 10 meters long), other materials needed are tarpaulin and plastic ropes, for filling the precipitate. To close the model, hinges can be used or attached to a pin, corners and screws. “A model like this can store up to six tons of silage,” says the technician from Emater-MG.
For feed, various materials can be used, from grass, sugarcane, corn, sorghum and even cassava twigs. The small disintegrator ensures that the plant residues are cut into the ideal size in favor of proper fermentation of the green matter, to ensure the durability and quality of feed for livestock.
Rural producer Carlos Roberto mentions the various advantages of a silo silo: “You don’t need to rent a machine (tractor) to pressurize the feed. The other positive thing is that we hardly lose any of the feed after opening the silo. If I’m going to make a conventional silo, which is much larger, I risk wasting a portion. of matter. And there is more, I don’t need much fodder. We are reaping the roots.”
Extension official Emater-MG adds that if there is a need to feed a larger number of animals, it is possible to make several small silos, which will be opened on demand. “For example, if it is necessary to obtain 20 tons of silage for a year, which is still considered a small amount, the producer can make four silos of five tons each. Thus, he opens each silo as needed, and maintains the conservation of materials. existing in other silos,” explains Manuel Melton.
For producer Valdir Ferreira de Aquino, the silo-type silo was the salvation in these times of high fuel: “We already made a lot of silos like these here. It is much cheaper, because it does not depend on a tractor. The fuel is expensive and the rental rate of the machine has increased a lot The fodder is perfect and the animals accept it very well. Milton (Emater-MG technician) came here and explained how to do it.” Valdir keeps about 25 animals on the property, intended for dairy farming. “I make food for my livestock to go through six or seven months of drought,” the producer says, and they have already adapted to the long droughts.